How I got my kids to stop driving me crazy in the mornings. A routine that actually works for us! | IntentionalByGrace.com
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How My Kids Stopped Driving Me Crazy in the Mornings

How I got my kids to stop driving me crazy in the mornings. A routine that actually works for us!

How I got my kids to stop driving me crazy in the mornings. A routine that actually works for us! | IntentionalByGrace.com

If you want to live intentionally, you have to be willing to change what isn’t working.

A few weeks ago I diligently wrote out our daily routine (and shared it with you) in hopes of bringing more calm and normalcy to our days. For several weeks, it worked really well.

But there was always this gnawing feeling that it was going to implode soon.

Why?

Because I knew there were some parts of our routine that I didn’t like. Parts of our routine that if I allowed myself to think about it for long would make me anxious and upset.

Our bedtime routine for our kids has been the same for nearly four years! It works. Every point of it makes sense. Every bit of the order has a purpose and a reason, and we all thrive on it. All of us! Even if it does get monotonous always being the one to give the bath (hubby) or wash the dishes (me).

But our mornings. Oh, our mornings! They have been so frustrating!

I’ve tried preparing more the night before. I’ve tried waking up earlier. I’ve tried going to bed earlier. I’ve tried videos for the kids. I’ve tried busy boxes. I’ve tried coloring books. I’ve tried to give up coffee (to skip a step). We’ve tried sooooooo many things, but we never could find a system that worked for everyone. It either worked really well for the kids or worked really well for one of the adults. Never all of us together!

Until now that is.

The last couple of weeks have been filled with more prayer than I’ve ever prayed over a routine. In my moments alone, I prayed for wisdom on how to train my children’s mornings in a way that would bring God glory and not just myself. I prayed for Him to help me lead my kids into their day and allow me some time to wake up and meet with Him (even if the time is distracted a bit).

And He answered!

I want to share with you our new routine because it’s going really well, and I know I’m not alone in the struggle. The best part? We don’t have to get up earlier for it to work.

 

 

How I got my kids to stop driving me crazy in the mornings. A routine that actually works for us! | IntentionalByGrace.com

 

 

Our New Morning Routine

Wake up

We usually wake up to one of the children staring at us from beside the bed. The other is usually already running up and down the halls or asking for a snack. They wake up anywhere from 6:30 to 7:30 in the morning.

Room Time

We all give morning hugs, change the little one’s diaper, let the oldest go to the bathroom, and then we send the boys promptly back to their room.

They do room time for 15-30 minutes.

They have toys that are just for room time, and the only rule is don’t come out!

Adult Time

Somewhere in all the hugs and hellos and get your hineys to your room, someone starts the coffee. So, by the time we close the door to their room, the coffee is ready and we can pour our first cup in peace.

My husband and I usually go sit on the porch, keeping the door cracked so we can hear the boys, and just sip our coffee peacefully … without incessant talking and begging for food. Glorious!

Adult Quiet Time

If all sounds well inside, we’ll open our Bibles and begin to read quietly, rocking side by side, and occasionally watching the birds flock to the feeder for their breakfast.

Update: It’s wintertime now so the porch isn’t our spot. The adults now have their respective time indoors in a comfy chair, but the routine is still the same. I just watch the birds from my rocking chair. 🙂

Gather Boys’ Quiet Time Materials

After we’ve woken up enough to make sentences and have met with the Lord in relative peace for a few moments, we’ll get the boys’ quiet time materials ready.

Their quiet time materials consist of a:

  • cup of milk
  • snack (usually fresh or dried fruit or nuts)
  • Bible
  • storybook Bible
  • book on a Christian topic
  • blanket
  • pillow

We set this all out for them on the porch (or living room floor if we need to be inside), making sure to have PLENTY of space between them.

 

 

morning

 

 

Family Quiet Time

Once everything is set up, we call the boys out of their room, and they join us for a family quiet time.

Note: By the time they join us it has been anywhere from 15-30 minutes. Our goal is 30 minutes, but sometimes the boys just can’t be shut in a room together for that long. We take it day by day. After all, they are only four and two years old.

They are required to be quiet and still during this time. They can eat their snack and drink their milk and read their own books quietly. We tell them this is their time to meet with Jesus and pray quietly to Him.

Mommy and Daddy drink their second cup of coffee and continue reading their Bibles or journaling while overseeing the boys together.

We think it’s important that the boys see Mommy and Daddy reading their Bibles. Even if we finished our morning study before the boys come out (and this is our goal by the way), we still keep our Bibles open.

Sometimes I’ll use this time to make my to-do list for the day. We use the time before the boys get up for our undistracted time with the Lord. This way we’re free to train while the boys are with us.

THIS is why my kids stopped driving me crazy in the morning. By having the boys go to their room first, I can get a few moments alone with the Lord before diving right into the day.

We don’t skip the room time and jump right into family quiet time. The boys room time is essential to this routine working!

 

 

 

The thing is that it’s rarely completely quiet during family quiet time. The two year old likes to sing to the birds or tell the dog next door to stop barking. He doesn’t always like to sit still and some days one or both of the boys neglect to open their books at all. Sometimes they complain about the snack in their cup or whine that the other person’s blanket is bigger.

But that is completely okay!

We have no qualms with making them sit still for 10-15 minutes because 1) they’ve already had free reign in their room to get wiggles out, and 2) it’s good training for Sunday mornings.

It’s the habit we are building, not necessarily the perfect silence. Again, my husband and I have already had our time in the word. We’ve woken up to the day, and now we are free to train with patience and perseverance because we put the big rocks in first.

What do you think? Would a morning room time be a good solution for your children? What solutions have you found to making your mornings a little easier?

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19 Comments

  1. What do you do next? When do you get a shower? This sounds brilliant! I don’t think it would work exactly like this for our family but it is a good starting point.

    1. Oh shower? People do that? 😉

      I try to take it when I get up if I do manage before the kids, or directly after breakfast. Or at night after they are in bed. I know it’s not very inspiring. hehe!

  2. This sounds like a paradise dream. My hubby wakes up at 5:30 and leaves for work before 6:15. Mornings can be crazy here, but I find this post to be inspiring! Thanks!

  3. My husband leaves for work early and my kids get up much later (around 8… Yes, it is amazing!) so our morning routine wouldn’t work this way, but I am so inspired! I’ve just started following your blog and I am so encouraged to make my day with my girls and husband much more intentional. And I just love the family quiet time idea- you are right, it is so important for kids to see their parents in Gods word! 🙂 I’m going to start mapping out a better morning routine for my family!!

  4. I really love the idea that my mornings could resemble this.
    My favourite part is quiet time for them to read, reflect and pray. I will be praying on this subject as setting them up for the day in every way has to be positive, however it often becomes the opposite of this. I feel so inspired to create a new morning routine.
    Sooo pleased I bumped into your site. Thank you.

  5. I really LIKE your routine. Puts a whole new spin on mornings together. Going to pray about our CRAZY mornings here to see what God wants us to do.

  6. I love your morning routine. I truly wish that we were in a position to be able to do something similar. My husband just found a new job so he is actually able to help in the mornings, I just lost my job so it appears I’ll have more time in the mornings for a while. But getting everyone to work and school on time is a very big challenge in our house. My daughter and I both have ADHD which adds a bit of a challenge. We have worked out a pretty good routine (adding my husband back in might prove challenging) though it could use some tweaks. We have a visual timer and a checklist and I do WAY less nagging at my daughter than I ever have before and we both love that part of things. We have found it next to impossible to get any kind of devotions or quiet time into our mornings. This summer we have done a good job of having it work in our evenings and as much as I like the idea of starting the day off with God, ending the day with Him works pretty well too. Now to manage to keep that time in our daily routine after adding homework into the mix. I’m thinking to make it part of the evening meal time and then we don’t have to try to “add one more thing” to the routine. I just ran across your blog while looking for some planning and organizing inspiration (since I’m going to be home for a while now) and I really like what I’ve found so far, thanks for sharing your lives with us, both the ups and downs.

  7. Not long ago, I was discouraged as I felt I was not getting anything done during my days (besides what I use to call my ”minimum”, consisting of feeding my 4 kids (the oldest is not 4 yet), correcting them, cleaning and doing laundry). I was basically surviving (my husband being busy from early in the morning to late at night). God then gave me this so precious, REVOLUTIONARY tool: the book ”Managers of their homes” by Steven and Teri Maxwell. The best investment a family can make in my humble opinion. It completely changed everything for me. The author of this book is very, very practical and has really mastered the art of scheduling a day. I’m sure you would love this book Leigh Ann.

  8. This sounds like a great plan. For me, what has been essential is just making sure I get up before my kids. If I can wake up by 6:30, I can usually have an hour to an hour and a half before my first child wakes up. Like you, starting my day with the quiet and time to read and pray is so helpful to starting the day in peace. I pretty much always regret it when I sleep in and miss this time!

  9. Thank you for sharing. I will be having my first baby in May and I love reading all of these ideas. I will be incorporating this into our routine as my baby grows. God bless!

  10. Wow…..that’s a good thing! Now that my boy’s are all grown… I realize the biggest mistake I made was not stiting down with them and reading God’s word, EVERYDAY…..Now…well they are grown, and they have become computer geeks and although I am hoping they pray …..I never see them, perhaps they wait till I’m not around….
    If I can give you one piece of advice…..keep them in the word!!! It works, and will change their life for good!

  11. What a great routine. My kids are 8, 10 and 11 and we still have yet to hit on a really great routine that works for all of us. Mostly they’re self- sufficient now so I’ve given up.

  12. This is a great idea 🙂 I was struggling to get back into a good “time with the Lord” routine after my second baby came…he was about a year old when I finally decided that getting up early was the only way to have a morning bible study. My husband’s alarm goes off at 5:30 and if we’re REALLY lucky, it’s 6:30 before we hear the kids (we’re not usually that lucky), and we’ve had a chance to read and start on breakfast. It’s working…for now 🙂 Thanks for sharing your tips!