If your family's morning routine is far from stress-free, Kim DeMarchi can help! The Certified Parent Educator and Family Coach stopped by to help put the "good" back into "good morning!"
Parenting tools to improve the messy mornings:
1. To be more effective in getting them to do what you want, don't yell to them from the other room. Go to them, get close, get on their eye level, gently touch them, and use a "low and slow" tone of voice. That will send the message that you mean business, but in a respectful way.
2. Concentrate on REDUCING the number of compliance statements, not eliminating them. Don't set yourself up for failure. Reducing them is an improvement.
3. Rephrase the statement to a question. i.e.: Instead of "Get your shoes on." ,try "What do you need to put on before we go outside?" Instead of "Brush your teeth.", try "What needs to happen since you just ate dessert and you're off to bed?" Getting kids to think for themselves is half the battle.
4. Try using the one word technique. In the above examples, the first word would be "shoes" and the next one would be "teeth". Simple. Just be sure to say it in a respectful way. Your delivery must be received as respectful to gain their cooperation.
5. Use routines! Have a poster or a chart depicting or listing the items that need to be done, for example in the morning. To ensure they are more cooperative, have them help to come up with the list. The more input they have for solving a problem, the higher the success rate and the more cooperation you will gain.
None of us like to be bossed around constantly. Our children are no different. We can really damage our children's spirit by nagging, yelling, controlling, demanding, or correcting all the time.