Want a Simplified Morning Routine that Sets the Stage for School Success?

(BPT) - No matter what grade your kids are in, a new school year comes with optimism and opportunity. Everyone is excited for what the year will bring, until the first early alarm goes off and it's time to get ready for school. Suddenly that joy becomes complaints as they beg for just one more minute and then later scramble to find their backpack while nearly missing the bus.

Morning routines don't have to be stressful for kids or adults, with a little proactive planning. Consider these six morning routine tips to transform your a.m. from awful to amazing, setting the stage for everyone's success:


Reduce Morning Work

The first trick to a smooth morning is to start the evening prior. Whether you have a preschooler or teen, have them select and set out the outfit they are going to wear tomorrow. Additionally, packing backpacks, snacks and lunches the evening before streamlines the morning and sets everyone up for a drama-free morning. Set backpacks and all items that don't need refrigeration by the door so the family is ready to head out early.

Use Alarms Strategically

Students of all ages need structure to succeed, and alarms can serve as useful reminders to stay on task and manage time appropriately, which is an important executive functioning skill. Therefore, don't just use alarms to wake kids up; set them throughout the morning to help them focus. For example, set an alarm for 20 minutes to eat, 20 minutes for dressing and tidying rooms, and a five-minute warning before it's time to go to the bus.

Simplify Breakfast

Breakfast helps fuel growing minds, but unlike weekends, there's not much time to make food on weekday mornings. Save time by planning out easy grab-and-go breakfast items. Things like pre-portioned yogurt, fruit, granola bars and trail mix are easy to eat at home or on the way to school. Since food calms hunger pangs so kids can focus and learn, underscore the importance of eating in the morning, especially for older kids who may be tempted to skip.

Add in vitamins

Getting the right nutrients is essential, so consider adding a vitamin to your morning routine. SmartyPants Vitamins, for instance, has delicious, comprehensive gummy multivitamins for everyone in the family — including kids, teens and adults.

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Make Checklists

Even though you do your best to plan ahead, mornings can be hectic for everyone. Making checklists is a way to help kids be empowered and stay organized. Plus, they'll accomplish more independently so you can focus on what you need to do. Every child will have different to-do's based on their age, abilities and needs. Small children may benefit from simple visuals to remind them to brush their teeth and make their bed. Older kids can have checklists that go into detail about what they need to do and pack based on the day's activities, such as extracurriculars.

Stay Positive

The best way to start the day in a positive way is to model a positive attitude. Compliment your kids, smile and wish them a wonderful day. Model staying calm and organized yourself so they can reflect that energy. If you feel like mornings are becoming stressed, caregivers can try getting up 15-30 minutes earlier. Not only does this give you a little cushion of time, it also is time before kids wake up where you can enjoy a quiet house and prepare yourself for the day ahead.