Avoiding Morning Madness by Maren Schmidt

Getting everyone out the door in the morning can feel like we've put in a full day's work before 7 am.  We have to deal with the sleepyhead, the dawdler, the procrastinator, the inappropriate dresser and the forgetful space cadet.

Until we can let these characters have meaningful experiences they will continue to be difficult to get up and get going.  Arranging for these meaningful experiences, though, can entail that rest of the family are thrown into uproar, as the natural consequences of certain behaviors can over-complicate our lives.

What is a parent to do?

Here are some hints to help create a peaceful morning routine.

Avoiding Morning madness – Do what you can the night before!

Avoiding Morning Madness - Child preparing for the next day.

Planning ahead the night before can help the morning go smoother.  Have children lay out the clothes they will put on in the morning. Plan breakfast menu's weekly and set the breakfast table after dinner.  Have a spot for everyone's supplies-coats, shoes, backpacks, lunches–and set out what you can the night before.  Make lunches the night before.  Have the children learn to do whatever age appropriate tasks they can.

Have expectations.  Consider no television, computer time or video games in the morning.  Expect everyone to be dressed before breakfast.  Expect everyone to be ready to go at a certain time and set a five or ten minute timer to help get everyone headed in that that direction.

Avoiding Morning Madness – Get some skin in the game!

Make your children responsible for certain tasks.  Even a three-year-old can be expected to set the table with silverware, dishes and food, carry his or her dishes to the kitchen and place dishes into the dishwasher.  If the jobs don't get done, then the children see that their contribution is important to the well-being of their family.

Create consequences.  Decide what you will do when the morning routine heads down the wrong path, and tell your children what to expect as consequences.  If the television is turned on before you brush your teeth, I'll turn it off.  If you aren't dressed by the time to we need to get in the car, I'll put your clothes in the car and you can get dressed at school.  If you haven't eaten breakfast by a certain time, I'll put your food away.

Getting Enough Sleep Is Key For Avoiding Morning Madness…

Getting Extra Sleep and Avoiding Morning Madness

Actions speak louder than words. You'll probably only have to do these things once or twice before the dawdler or procrastinator learns to change their ways.  I've had several students appear at school in their pajamas after their parents talked to me about their dawdling.  But usually only once.

Get enough sleep.  Make sure that you, as well as the children, are well rested.  Adults need on average 8 hours of sleep per night.  Unfortunately, most adults get only around six hours of rest.  The paradox is that when you go ahead and get that extra couple of hours of sleep, you'll find that you are more productive and alert and can get the same amount of tasks in less time.


Children need 10 to 14 hours of sleep per day depending on their age. Adequate sleep is crucial for their physical and mental development, as well as their overall well-being. Lack of sleep can lead to irritability, difficulty concentrating, and decreased cognitive performance. By establishing a consistent bedtime schedule and enforcing it, parents can ensure that their children get the rest they need to start the day refreshed and ready to tackle their daily activities.

Avoiding Morning Madness
To avoid the chaos and stress that often accompanies the morning routine, it's essential to have a well-structured plan in place. Start by setting clear expectations for each family member, outlining their responsibilities and consequences for not meeting them.

Assign age-appropriate tasks, such as getting dressed, packing lunches, or gathering backpacks, to help instill a sense of responsibility and independence in your children. Additionally, prepare as much as possible the night before, including laying out clothes, packing snacks, and organizing any necessary items for the day ahead. By being proactive and involving the entire family, you can create a smoother, more organized morning routine.

Parent Choosing to avoid morning madness by talking things through with her child

Rise and Shine
With a good night's sleep and a structured morning plan in place, your household can rise and shine, ready to tackle the day ahead. Well-rested and prepared, family members will be better equipped to handle the morning rush with a positive attitude and a clear mind. By establishing routines and expectations, you can minimize stress and ensure that everyone starts their day on the right foot. Remember, avoiding morning madness is possible with proper planning and a commitment to getting enough quality sleep.

At MCDC Poway, we focus on nurturing lifelong learners and leaders in the Poway and San Diego area. Implementing a structured, calm morning routine complements the Montessori Method, fostering self-reliance and discipline in your child.

For a more peaceful morning and an enriching educational experience, reach out to MCDC Poway at (858) 748-1727 or info@mcdcpoway.com. Let's work together to make every morning a positive start towards your child's bright future.

Posted by Maren Schmidt

Getting Ready Early Avoiding Morning Madness