I came across a short article that was quoted in Working Mother Magazine a year or so back. I entitled it “Have a Model Morning,” and thought I would put the “tips” out here in the cyber world (with a few additional comments.)
The tips below were requested for two parent families. However, many households today are headed by single moms who are doing it all, AND making it all work– morning, noon and night!
Even in two parent families, traditionally Moms have been in charge of morning necessities. However, Building teamwork between Mom and Dad ( and other household members including kids) can reduce morning stress and offer a powerful model for the kids re cooperation. Dads ( and kids) possess strengths that can help everyone get out the door on time, successfully primed for a more productive and satisfying day
Single parents also can build a team with the little (and bigger) ones. As a single mom for many years when my kids were young, I did not have a partner to share the morning routines, and the children and I managed to make our mornings work. Kids feel good about themselves when they know they are sharing and helping the adults, whether it is two parents or one, or in extended family households.
Here are the “tips:”
Three C’s for having a model morning in a two parent household:
1.Capitalize on personal strengths.
Know the strengths/skills of each parent, as they may not be gender typical. Consciously utilize both Dad’s and Mom’s strengths, and build on those that seem to get the best results.
2.Carve out the plan.
Engage Dad in a five-minute “board” meeting before the action begins. Set out chores based the day’s needs, and stick to the plan as best you can. As the morning progresses, invite Dad to a two-minute “business” meeting, (in relative privacy), to make any needed changes.
3.Communicate your new motto: “The Parents are in charge!”
Kids benefit from knowing that parents parent as a team. “Parents are in charge” defines your “flow-chart,” advises about who is running the morning “department.” and gives the greatest potential for having a model morning “bottom
The parent(s) are in charge, but make it clear that “we” are ALL a team!