Like many families, we have a lot going on every morning. My husband leaves for work by 6:45 am. I also get up early to work at my desk, then I spend from 6 to 8 am getting our daughters out the door, before getting back to work. Several years ago, after persistent reminders to our daughters regarding what they had to do to get out the door every morning, we decided we needed a change.
We leveraged Thomas Gordon’s conflict resolution method based on his book, Parent Effectiveness Training, to brainstorm a solution. As a family, we agreed that posting a checklist on the fridge door would help the girls remember what their individual family responsibilities every morning. To make this happen, we brainstormed everything our daughters each need to do before they leave the house from the time they wake up until they walk out the door. We decided what was most critical (brush my teeth), as well as what was fun but not critical (knit one row of scarf).
Once we finalized our morning to-do list, our younger daughter created the master list for our fridge. We laminated it and put it on the fridge for all to see . Our older daughter glances at it for reference, and our younger daughter frequently uses a dry-erase marker to check off what she’s done every morning. They both use it in the way that works best for them. And it’s completely changed our morning routine!
One of the main reasons this solution works so well is that we brainstormed this solution as a family, so we are all bought in. The results? I’m no longer nagging, and our girls are empowered to do what needs to be done in their own time every morning.
Does it work perfectly? Of course not, but we’re a lot better off then when we started!
Do you have a morning routine? What works and what doesn’t with your kids? Leave a comment below and let’s get the conversation started!
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