I’ve been a mom for a lot of years. My oldest just turned 19 and my baby is 7. Believe me, I’ve had my share of wins and fails in the “good ideas” department over the years, and my motto has basically become “choose your battles wisely”. I gave up trying to make the kids get dressed in something other than pj’s over the summer a long time ago. Unless we’re going out for the day, wear the pajamas all day and even tomorrow if you want to. I know first hand that a household of five kids can become out of hand quickly without a few tried and true policies in place.
Mornings are my Achilles heel, because I’m not a morning person and for kids who hate to get out of bed for school, they sure like to wake up at the crack of dawn during the summer.
Here are a few of my favorite first hand experience, mom tested tips for a smooth start to your day with the kiddos.
Keep a routine bedtime and wake up time:
As much as I’d personally like to stay in bed until the crack of noon, a real bedtime and wake up is imperative to a good day with kids. I’m not saying it has to be 7AM, if 9 works better for your family than go with that. If you’re kid is the one who wakes with the chickens, then try an earlier bedtime. If that still doesn’t work and they don’t nap (like mine) then at least designate a “rest time” where they lay down or play quietly for a bit during the day.
Start with a healthy breakfast:
Not being a morning person, I’m also by default not much of a breakfast maker. However, I always keep fresh fruits on hand, as well as other favorites of the kids. I may not want to make muffins in the morning, but I can prepare the evening before and make them ahead of time. Have easy and healthy choices on hand so that the whining doesn’t have to begin early. Keep containers or baggies with proper portions for easy access.
Turn toothbrushing time into playtime:
After breakfast, make sure they brush their teeth. Good overall health begins with good dental health.
A trick I learned a long time ago was to find the coolest toothbrushes and dental products available. Firefly and REACH are two brands that are our go-to.
My 7 year old loves the Firefly Star Wars Collection, especially the Kylo Ren Lightsaber toothbrush. It lights up for 60 seconds, which is enough time to brush each row of teeth for 60 seconds.
And as happy as I am that the kids are brushing in the mornings, no one likes a mess to be left behind, that’s never a good start to the day. The Firefly Spiderman Fun Pump Rinse has a convenient no-mess cup to ensure kids dispense the perfect amount of rinse. No more messy sinks!
I like to keep extra toothbrushes available for friends when they stay the night with the kids. The REACH brushes are very affordable and great for this.
The kids friends know that with me there’s no reason to skip brushing just because you’re a visitor.
Set the atmosphere in the house with music:
I have no issue with TV time during the summer, but not 24/7. Instead, choose some favorite tunes and blast them. And while you’re at it, even if you’re tired, but out some funny dance moves with the kids. You’ll be amazed how well a day can go after a few happy giggles first thing in the morning.
Use reward charts and incentive:
Reward vs punishment is very effective. There are a ton of reward and chore charts available online. You can also make them from vinyl and put them on the bathroom mirror, like this, and use a dry erase marker to mark on the glass.
Plan ahead and prepare the evening before:
There’s something to the scout motto “Be Prepared”
This applies to getting the family rolling in the right direction too. Make sure they have what they need ahead of time (clothes, food, etc) and that becomes one less thing to stress about. If evenings aren’t your time, then find your sweet spot in the day and get things ready then.
Spend one-on-one time together:
If you skip all the other things on this list, do not skip this one. Take as much time as you have every single day and hug your family. Cuddle a bit while they wake up, chat over breakfast, have some fun listening to music or planning for the week. But whatever you do, spend time each and every day with the ones you love. Your life will always be richer for it.
A little more about the REACH products we use:
Lower price than the competition.
Available at Target, Walmart, & Walgreens.
The REACH UltraClean toothbrush is available in a single count or a 4-count value pack at Target & Walmart.
The REACH Advanced Design Toothbrush has longer outer bristles and shorter inner bristles to perfectly clean along the gum line and the plaque from every tooth and is available in value packs of two.
A little more about the Firefly products we use:
Leader in children’s oral care solutions
Available in fun characters
The toothbrush can be found at Walmart and Walgreens, and it comes equipped with a protective cap to ensure the bristles and the brush head stay clear of any bacteria from the sink or countertop.