7 Ways to Start Each Morning Strong With Your Girl
There are morning people. There are night owls. And then there are kids.
Unpredictable in their schedules – especially in the summertime – following through on a steady morning routine is often a challenge for kids to maintain. As kids grow up, their organizational skills diversify and they establish preferences for when they are most inclined to complete certain tasks. Fortunately, at the age of our GOTR girls, there still is plenty of time to set a positive example, teach healthy habits and explain the value of consistency.
Convincing your kids to wind down and turn off the iPad at night is just about as delicate an art as waking them up in the morning. And with school right around the corner, jumpstarting a balanced morning routine has never been timelier. As families prepare for school bus schedules, breakfasts on-the-go and last-minute study sessions, we are highlighting some useful tips of how to make the most of your girl’s morning and set her up for all-day success.
Prepare the night ahead
The best offense is a strong defense, right? Making decisions in a rushed state rarely leads to calm, collected outcomes. When we frantically perform tasks, the room for error dramatically increases. For instance, if you are quickly throwing together a bag for gym class it’s quite possible you may grab two different shoes or forget a change of socks. Eliminate this unnecessary stress by planning the night before. Anything that requires a decision – outfit, breakfast, lunch, backpack contents, etc. – prepare it all ahead of time before winding down for the day. Additionally, setting a time and location every evening allows this action to become a daily ritual. A great night routine will spill over into a strong morning routine.
Implement a connection routine
Initiate each day with a form of connection that only you and your girl share. A five-minute snuggle. A kiss on the forehead. A custom-affirmation. A tune sung together or upbeat playlist. In doing this, your girl will associate your affection with the freshness of a new day. This warmth will resonate with your girl and inspire kindness in her own actions.
And while we recognize that not all caregivers are available every morning to wake/greet their child, there are a few other not-the-day-of connection routines you and your girl can try out! For caregivers who work mornings or are unavailable, leaving a surprise note beside your girl’s bed is a wonderful way to immediately inspire her day with love. Similarly, having your girl’s breakfast prepared in the refrigerator reminds your girl that even if you are not present you are thinking of her and saying, “have a good day, honey!”.
Fuel up with protein
Commercials for sugary cereals may look like a blast, but do NOT be fooled by the charismatic cartoons and flashing lights. A bowl of anything heavy in sugar will not set your child up with super strength, let alone a properly fueled body. Prioritize protein above all else in your girl’s breakfast. Protein-rich foods will keep her fuller longer – increasing her ability to focus more during class, engage deeply in conversations and maintain high energy levels throughout the day. When her stomach is not growling or aching, she is capable of thinking clearly and remembering the tasks at hand, instead of counting down the minutes until lunch break.
Even the most hydrated person’s body craves water first thing in the morning. We frequently mistake early-morning hunger for thirst, due to the amount of water we lose overnight from trips to the bathroom, sweating and even breathing. Drinking water as soon as you wake up strengthens the immune system by flushing out the stomach and balancing the lymphatic system. Additionally, grabbing a glass first thing impacts cognition and mental performance and helps boost a person’s mood! Employing this small habit into your girl’s life now will have long-lasting effects on her health – inside and out – later down the line.
Set a positive example
Genuine positivity is contagious. The first reaction a person experiences every morning often sets the tone for the rest of their day. Are you the first person your girl sees? Greet her with kindness or leave her a loving note! By making a conscious decision to greet every morning with a grateful heart and optimistic spirit, your girl will see that with each new day comes an opportunity for joy. On the flip side, we also recognize that sunny mornings aren’t always in the cards. These days, though, offer the chance to show your girl how to overcome obstacles using logic, take a BrThRR and find the strength within to keep going. Setting a positive example on your girl will have a wonderful domino effect – impacting not only her energy, but that of her classmates, teachers and coaches.
Keep it simple
If you are looking to make your girl’s new morning routine REALLY stick, you are going to need to keep it easy-peasy. Grand, sweeping gestures and tasks will overwhelm your girl and distract her from the priority at hand. Routines that are simple are much easier to replicate and keep consistent. With unnecessary details often come unnecessary complications. If your girl nails her new routine month after month, connect with her on other additional ways she can have the best start possible. She may certainly want to keep things status quo – especially if it’s in the middle of the school year – but it’s meaningful to acknowledge her progress and invest in her development.
Factor in extra time
A little wiggle room never hurt anybody. When it comes to kids, there is no such thing as overpreparing! As you develop a morning routine with your girl, factor in some ‘just in case’ time before she heads out the door. It may mean she has to get up a few minutes early, but it’s worth it should unexpected things come up, like changes in transportation, weather conditions or squeezing in an extra study session. And if your girl is speedy enough to not need this extra prep time, she can use it for something enjoyable such as playing with the dog, reading a book or spending some time outside.
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