Here’s how to give your Kid’s Mornings a Routine
Obesity, emotional sensitivity, poor time management, difficulty to acquire new skills — these are some of our ‘everyday’ problems, and we have devised ways to deal with (or live with) them. But if we knew a trick to raise our kids so they grow up into people who have none of these problems, wouldn’t we be so much more pro-active!
Well then, the “trick” is out — They need a routine. Young children are highly aware of patterns — daily, weekly, monthly or annual. They take note of the ‘rhythm’ their family life operates on, and are quite eager to participate. This structure governs the emotional, social, mental and physical symptoms as they turn into adults.
How does a morning routine contribute to mindfulness?
Just ensuring that kids sleep enough, brush their own teeth, and finish their breakfast are quite vital for a parent. These little habits make them grounded, calm and several other soft skills. These skills boost their mental health, concentration and social competency, amongst many other benefits.
Three Mindful Morning Routines
– Conscious breathing
Sit at the edge of bed or on floor with your kids, and place one hand each on the heart and the belly. Take 3 deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth, keeping a tab on how the two rise and fall. For the next 3 deep breaths, swing the arms up at inhale and to the heart at exhale. Come to think of it, this is a matter of just 6 breaths, barely a minute’s thing, but will stay with your child forever.
– Breakfast and Gratitude
All parents must put an extra effort into making the breakfast time a fun family bonding time. It’s all the more important when they are quite likely to be sucked up by a screen. Hold hands over your heart and name one thing you’re grateful for. Let the turns circulate between all the members of the house, and don’t exclude kids. If your child is too young to be so thoughtful, simply teach them the meaning of “gratitude”. This will help them cultivate their own joy rather than depending upon you. Besides, it will kill any underlying negativity and only remind them of how lucky they truly are.
– Observe and Engage
Find a time in your morning routine when you feel everyone can participate, and keep it consistent every day. It could be the time they brush their teeth, after they’re dressed for the day, or walking out the door. Get your kids to observe something outside their current space, prefer a window for the same. Let them describe what they think of the weather, the sky, or a plant performing slightly better. This exercise will stimulate their imagination, and polish their sensory understanding of the world. Besides, imagine how their vocabulary would unravel when they listen to what everyone else notices.
To ensure the kids don’t fall out of the system and stick to the very meaning of “routine”, try and involve some creative tricks. Get some Yoga mat in their favorite color for the morning breathing exercise. The gratitude could be expressed in little chits of paper, then folded and dropped into a glass jar, to be opened and read out when full.
The upside of this practice of cultivating routine in your children is, you get to find yourself a structure too. Raising kids requires a basic parenting skill, and only conscious efforts each day can help you keep up.