FACT: Mornings with small kids are ridiculous.
Even if there’s really “nothing to do” it’s always hard to leave the house and get going. Today I spontaneously created this morning checklist for my preschooler and wanted to share the template with you.
We’ve been having epic battles almost every morning with my 5yo who refuses to get dressed. He didn’t use to fight the process but something shifted the last few weeks. For the last month, every morning has been a struggle to get dressed.
This morning, I snapped and yelled louder than ever. It scared us both. Not cool, Mom. My heart was heavy and grieving the entire time he was at preschool.
When the younger two went down for nap, I pulled him aside and talked to him about our morning. He’s very inquisitive and he loves words of affirmation. So I spent a few minutes telling him all the things I love about him. You’re kind. You’re a great big brother. You love to serve other people. You help Mommy. You’re kind to others.
I apologized for my impatient and unkind words. He forgave me and then apologized for not getting dressed. He’s so quick to apologize and I learn so much from him every day.
Then I clapped my hands together, rubbed them with anticipation and said ….“You know what else you are SO GOOD at? Baby, you are SO good at plans. You always figure out how to make your Lego structures stronger and better. We need to figure out your morning and make it stronger.”
LET’S MAKE A PLAN!
He was all in. He’s my analytical, first born so I knew a “plan” would appeal to him. I quickly realized I should have been more prepared myself because he wanted to figure it out immediately.
I asked him why he didn’t want to get dressed in the morning. He said (with sincerity) sometimes he forgets “all the things” and doesn’t want to stop playing. That’s fair. As adults, we need to remember they are LEARNING every minute. He’s growing physically, tired in the morning and probably doesn’t remember the steps needed to leave the house. I’ve had years of practice but still I forget.
He loves checklists so I suggested we make one. Again. I wasn’t intending to create one RIGHT THEN but he was energized and literally bouncing with excitement. We walked through the morning and I let him pick the images, font and even the ORDER of his morning routine.
We almost finished and something beautiful happened. Before we leave the house, we’ve been trying to pray as a family. We hold hands and pray we find people to love and that we’d represent our family name and Jesus with honor
My 5yo reminded me and asked to put PRAY on the morning list.
[and then my heart exploded]
I had forgotten the most important step. And HE reminded me.
This entire lesson was about remembering our morning goals. I think….he nailed the assignment. Don’t you agree?
If you have a preschooler, here is a Morning Checklist.
There are a million versions on Pinterist … but none that included PRAYING before leaving the house. We laminated it and put it on the fridge. We have magnetic dry erase markers that are helpful to have close (and away from babies).
It’s not perfect. It was done in 10 minutes. But I’m hopeful this will help us both in the morning.
How do you manage the morning routine with your small kids? Please comment and share your ideas!