Start your day right, Dr. Michele Borba’s tips for efficient family mornings

In our house, mornings can be full of stress. Just getting kids out of bed and out the door can be full of difficulty. But it’s a new year and I’m resolved to make over our family’s morning routine. 

Dr. Michele Borba, parenting expert and author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, has some simple tips to make morning routines a little smoother. Along with the Florida Department of Citrus, Dr. Borba suggests the following ideas. 

Race to Get Ready
  • Ready, set go! Give your kids a racing challenge to get ready in the morning. If your child gets ready in the allotted time, he wins. 
  • We tried this tip on the first day back to school after Christmas vacation. It worked great. Each of the boys finished in time and got a trophy sticker on his calendar.

Fuel the Day
  •  Nothing starts the day off right than getting a healthy breakfast. A glass of 100% orange juice with your breakfast can boost your nutrients and set the tone for a healthy start to the day.  No matter how busy the family schedule; a moment to sit down for a bite to eat can be a great way to plan all the day’s activities. 
Rise and Shine
  • Kids can be so excited about a big game or school performance. Why not start the day with an unique wake up activity. For the big game, chant ‘we will rock you’ as the special wake up alarm or give your child an round of applause as a boost of support to their performance.
Put Breakfast within Arm’s Reach:
  • Let your kids help themselves by putting all the bowls, plates and utensils within their reach. When they are old enough, let the kids make their own breakfast.  Put the orange juice and milk in the refrigerator door and the cereal on the counter and let the kids go to work.
  • In our house, we have a cereal dispenser that the kids use. They put the bowl under the spout and turn the knob. They are so proud when they fix themselves breakfast and I get a few minutes to accomplish some tasks before we head out the door.
Create a Homework Catcher:
  • Create a unique spot for all the important, and often lost or forgotten, items. By designating a single catch all location, there will be no more running around looking for last night’s homework.
  • We have a planning desk with a bulletin board and file drawer. The kids put their homework folders in the desk as soon as they come home. We do homework and the folders go back. In the morning, the kids fill their backpacks as they walk out the door. We haven’t had a missing folder this year.
These are just a few of Dr. Borba’s family tips. With a new year upon us, why not make family and healthy living a priority in 2011.

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