How the morning flows has great impact on the rest of the day. When we are able to create peaceful, graceful mornings, we are better able to create peaceful fulfilling days, or at least better adept to weather any stress that might appear in the day ahead. The more peaceful the time at home, the better prepared the child is for learning at school or daycare. Here are some ideas to consider as you begin your day:
1. Set the Stage
Create a relaxing environment for the morning routine. Keep the lights low, sounds to a minimum. Play music that you love. I play energizing, dance music in the bathroom while my daughters and I shower and get ready. We sing and jive, getting a jump start on feeling good. However, I like to wake up to gentle, relaxing music, easing my way into the day with quiet time. I have downloaded some of my favorite meditation music on my iphone and play it while I am waking up and waking up my daughters.
2. Gentle Beginnings
Wake up your child with a soft greeting such as “Good morning, love.” Give a back rub or a gentle massage or snuggle for one minute with your child before getting out of bed. Remember to note how your child likes to wake up. You can ask him if he would like to snuggle or not. Start the day with gentle choices. Pay attention to your voice volume and rhythm.
3. Even Pace
Avoiding the morning rush is key to staying calm and promoting feelings of peace. Make sure any advance preparation, such as laying out of clothes or packing lunches, happens the night before to avoid rush during the basic morning routine.
I have a friend, a single dad, who was having trouble getting his boys to stay on task while getting ready for school. He noticed that he was repeating over and over what they needed to do and that somehow they had learned to tune him out. We developed a checklist of morning routine activity steps and engaged the boys in picking a fun ringtone on the phone to signal the end of basic tasks. There was a duck quack for the end of teeth brushing, a chime for the completion of getting dressed, a horn honking for time to get in the car. That way both my friend and his boys didn’t have the stress of his repetitive reminders to stay on task and the boys felt a sense of relaxing into self-direction and knowing clear expectations regarding time.
4. Basic Needs
Getting those basic needs of affection and nutrition met are essential ingredients for the creation of peaceful mornings. Find ways to squeeze in a hug or two as you are getting ready for school. If your child is open to it, particularly for younger children, hold hands on the way to the car or into the school. Remember that touch can be very relaxing when it honors and considers how the recipient wants to receive it. Ask first, but offer moments for hugs, cuddling, and pausing to connect with your child, listening and tuning into the present moment. Make sure there is adequate time to spend on breakfast. Schedule time to sit down and finish the meal. When our basic needs are met, we feel relaxed and at ease. Pay attention to what those needs are for your child, meet those needs, and notice how her body and mind relaxes as a result.
5. Set Your Mind To It
Adding two minutes to the morning to talk with your child about how he or she thinks about the day ahead makes all the difference in how the day will unfold. Take two minutes to create a vision of the day. Ask your child what he or she wants to experience, wants to happen. State it in present tense and in the affirmative. For example, I am feeling calm and relaxed as I take my spelling test. I remember just what I need to know. I stay focused during class and remember to take a mental break when I need to. I have fun playing tetherball with my friends at recess. Notice that it is stated in the present tense and explains the parts of her day as she wishes them to happen, stating them as if they are happening in that way.
Sing a couple of affirmations in the car on the way to school or daycare. Have fun making up a fun or crazy tune to the words “I am beautiful and I am a wonderful friend.” “I am strong and full of courage.”
Have a beautiful peaceful day!!!
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