This Is How We Do The Morning Routine

Welcome to the second post in our new This Is How We ______  series. Each month we are talking to families around Cincinnati to find out how routines, celebrations, and responsibilities play out in their homes. This month we are talking about morning routines. Many families would agree there are parts of the morning that run smoothly, but there are other parts that seem to always cause stress. Between the breakfasts and backpacks and lunch making and teeth brushing, there is a lot happening in those early hours.

This month we talked to Johanna and Matt to see how their families take on the morning.  

Meet Johanna

Johanna is a mom of two, ages 12 (boy) and 14 (girl).

In just a couple sentences, describe your morning routine.

Both children get up via their alarms. My daughter gets dressed prior to breakfast and my son eats breakfast and watches some TV before getting dressed.

What is going well in your morning routine?

All - luckily, my children are easy in the morning.

What is the hardest part of the morning routine?

The fact that two of us have to get up by 5:50.

What, if anything, do you do the night before to help the morning run more smoothly? Lunches are packed the night prior as are school and athletic bags. My daughter picks out her outfit prior to going to sleep as well.

What does breakfast look like? Do your kids prepare it themselves? What are go-to breakfast favorites?

My daughter prepares her own - typically cereal. If my husband is in town, he will make my son pancakes; otherwise, he eats cereal or muffins which he gets himself because my daughter and I leave within 10 minutes of my son getting up.

How do you help your kids be more independent during the morning?

We started both our children on alarms in Jr. High. Because my husband travels during the week, my children started at 5th and 7th grades to make their own breakfasts. In fact, my daughter would help my son.


Meet Matt

Matt is a dad of three boys, ages 10 (twins) and 6.

In just a couple sentences, describe your morning routine.

My wife and I are up early and mostly ready to go by the time the boys get up about 7. The boys go downstairs for breakfast and then come back up to get dressed and brush teeth.

What is going well in your morning routine?

Lunches and backpacks are all packed the night before so we don’t even need to think about those things.

What is the hardest part of the morning routine?

Two of the boys are particularly slow eaters. It could take them 30 minutes to eat just one waffle. I hate being a nag, but we have to keep on them to finish.

What, if anything, do you do the night before to help the morning run more smoothly? Lunches are packed the night before, and we help our younger son pick out clothes the night before. The older boys pick out their own clothes in the morning.

What does breakfast look like? Do your kids prepare it themselves? What are go-to breakfast favorites?

Cereal, frozen waffles, or toast are the go-to meals on school mornings. The kids can make these by themselves while I’m making coffee and my own breakfast.

How do you help your kids be more independent during the morning?

It helps that our 6 year old’s clothes are laid out. This way he can get dressed by himself. From a young age, we’ve kept foods like cereal, waffles, and bread within reach so they have learned to get breakfast on their own.

Thanks for sharing with us, Johanna and Matt!

If you missed it last month, check out This is How We Start the New Year.

Written by Joy Becker, Mentoring Coordinator and Author of 44 & Oxford