Do you feel like your mornings are frantic, even during summer vacation? Try one of these tips to get your day started on the right foot.
HAVE A "WAKEUP ROUTINE"
Most families have a bedtime routine that helps kids wind down and wrap up their day. Take a cue from the happy little boy in Rabbi Joe Black's story, Boker Tov! Good Morning! and build a wake-up routine to kick start your day. Whether it’s doing some stretches, saying a blessing, taking a few minutes to snuggle, or having a regimented schedule, starting your day with consistency helps get the kids in gear. There's a custom of starting the day with the Modeh Ani, a Jewish prayer that expresses gratitude for another day of life--because really, no matter how crazy yesterday was, you're still standing and ready to start fresh.
You can also keep everyone's energy up by singing a song or dancing to music as you get your routine started. The playlist above can get you moving through the morning with songs like "Boker Tov" by Rabbi Joe Black and a ska-infused "Modeh Ani" by Josh and the Jamtones.
PREP THE NIGHT BEFORE
Have the whole family lay out their outfits, including shoes, the night before. For those traveling, get lunches packed and prepped too. Whether you start your day off by sitting at the table for breakfast, or grabbing it to go, keep it simple and set up the night before as well. You can lay out fruit, proportioned dry cereal, and breakfast bars ahead of time. Save more time-intensive items like eggs, pancakes, or waffles for a rewarding family-brunch on the weekends. Looking for a good breakfast recipe you can keep in the fridge and grab quickly? Try charoset protein balls or these apple “cookie” pops — kosher, healthy, and kids can help you make them.
COLLABORATE & DELEGATE
If your kids are old enough, involve them in setting up a morning schedule and routine the whole family can follow together. Things won’t go perfectly the first time, but with practice, you’ll all eventually settle in to a rhythm that works for you. Parents and older siblings can “divide and conquer” morning duties that involve helping younger kids get dressed or feeding pets. Getting the whole family working together, communicating, and helping things run smoothly, is also a perfect way to practice and ensure peace in the home, shalom bayit.
PARENTS GET READY FIRST
What’s that you say? Parents before kids? Yes--in the mornings, parents should take the time to get ready before the kids. If your kids are late sleepers, give yourself some morning “me-time” to get dressed, eat breakfast, and get organized. If your kiddos get up super early, set them up with books or an “ok to wake” clock that lets you have a few minutes--even two--to get yourself ready.
HIT "RESET" IF YOU NEED
Are your kids channeling "Old Ned" from Rise and Shine: A Challah-Day Tale? If your morning feels like it’s just off to the wrong start--everyone’s cranky, frantic, and voices are being raised, take thirty seconds and with your kids, have a “do over.” Whether you lie down on the spot or get back in bed, close your eyes, and then say “good morning” over again. (Seriously, toddlers get super into this). With older kids, you simply pause, take a deep breathe, and then move on.
How does your family get ready in the morning? Share your tips with us on social media using #pjlibrary.
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June 19, 2017