There’s one simple thing parents can do to make mornings easier
There are a handful of everyday situations that give all parents anxiety: bedtime, dinner time, bath time. Kids seem to sense when we need their cooperation, and then they refuse to give it. Getting out the door in the morning is one of the main offenders.
Thankfully, there may be a simple solution.
One expert has a suggestion to head off those meltdowns that inevitably slow your mornings to a halt.
Dr. Laura Markham is a clinically trained psychologist with a Ph.D. Columbia University, and she’s also a mom. She answers parenting questions on Aha! Parenting, the website she founded in between writing a pair of books promoting a “relationship-based parenting model.” When one reader wrote in and asked what can be done to make the morning routine less of a nightmare, she suggested a good old-fashioned snuggle.
She actually provides a list of things to do to help make mornings easier, but the one that really stands out is the physical bonding.
“That time connecting with your child will transform your morning. You fill your child’s cup before the day starts, and you re-connect after the separation of the night, which gives your child the motivation to cooperate instead of fight with you. This is the best way to prevent morning whining and resistance.”
She admits that it’s not always easy to find a five-minute chunk of time when you’re rushing out the door, but that’s why she thinks it’s important to do as much prep-work the night before. Pack their lunch, lay-out their clothes, remove as many obstacles as possible.
Dr. Laura’s parenting philosophy is about building healthy relationships with your kids before becoming their taskmaster, and says that making meaningful connections – physical and otherwise – can help younger kids transition more smoothly through different parts of the day.
“If getting her out of bed is a challenge, end your morning snuggle by holding hands as you go downstairs together, and make that a meaningful connection time for your child, during which you both come up with something you’re grateful for, or something you’re looking forward to today.”
This kind of touchy-feely approach can make some of us roll our eyes a bit, but there’s definitely some good advice in there.
Yes, at the end of the day, I’m not exactly pumped to have to make my kids lunch, but it’s a lot better than having to scramble for the cold cuts first thing in the morning. And while it can seem unrealistic to lounge around snuggling your kid when you’re freaking out about missing the bus, I don’t think there’s a parent out there that wouldn’t love to add more cuddle time with their little ones.
If altering your routine can make that happen, it seems like a good idea to me. Especially if those snuggles have the added benefit of reducing last minute meltdowns when junior can’t find his sneakers.
I’m going to give this a shot. If it works, I’m gonna have to talk to my wife about snuggling me before I head to work.