10 Steps to Brighter Mornings

10 Steps to Brighter Mornings

My 8-year-old daughter was born at night and her preference for sunsets over sunrises has never waned. As a result, I’ve had to get creative with our early morning routines so my night owl can get to where she needs to go with minimal fuss. To help ensure nothing is overlooked when the clock is ticking, we refer to our Get Going Morning List, which we keep on the fridge door…

Fortunately, in addition to inheriting my penchant for sleeping in late, my mini me also shares my love of making lists. She helped me craft ours, and because she was part of the process, she is firmly committed.

Splash Some Water
My daughter starts every day by splashing cold water on her face. I prefer a hot shower.

Turn on the Music
Cheerful sounds help everyone feel happy and move quickly. And you haven’t lived until you’ve brushed your teeth while dancing to Taylor Swift.

Nix the Devices
Screens and mornings do not mix because 5 minutes easily becomes thirty-five and poof, there goes the school bus.

Get Dressed
If you’re super organized, you or your child will have laid out clothes the night before. If not, get busy! Also, be prepared for the weather to change. You know what they say about the unpredictable weather in Canada: if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes. So have a sweater ready at the door.

 Feed the Beast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Fruits, bacon, yogurt, and toast are great, but we’ve also been known to eat reheated leftovers.

When we’re short on time, smoothies are our go-to breakfast. Add a rolled up slice of deli meat, bacon, or some hummus, and a handful of crackers and suddenly, you’ve got a balanced meal.

Don’t Skimp on Protein
When making breakfasts, snacks and lunches, don’t forget the protein. Protein is important because it keeps blood sugar levels stable and makes your kids feel full longer ensuring they can make it through the activities of the day. Adequate protein also helps with attention span, memory and concentration. Chicken is an excellent source of lean protein and is a favourite at our house.

Brush all the Things
After a healthy breakfast, it’s time to groom (to music, of course).

Grab all the Things
Reduce morning stress and save valuable time by preparing lunches and filling backpacks the night before.

 All for Hugs and Hugs for All
No one leaves the house without a hug. That’s our rule, and we’re sticking to it.

Good Nights make for Great Mornings
There’s no denying the benefits of a good night’s rest. So when your kids need to be up with the sun, make sure they hit the bed early. As a rule, school-age kids need 9-11 hours of sleep a night. As we all know, a rested child is a happy child and a happy child makes mornings brighter for everyone.

Written by: Andrea Mulder-Slater, YMC.ca

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