Monday mornings are probably the most difficult day of the week to get the kids up and moving. It isn’t that they stayed up too late, but simply they are reluctant to return to that school routine. Mine slowly roll out of bed. They drag themselves down the stairs and plop with a thump on the couch, staring into space until they get the nudge (or nag) to get moving. This scene only gets worse as they get older.
How can children be motivated to be more happy in the morning? To be organized and ready for the Monday morning?
I’ve learned over the years that if I get up before them -about 30 minutes or more before them – I will be ready for my day and be more awake. Once I am awake, I am more alert to see to their needs. I get up early. Let the dogs out and walk around the yard to get my blood flowing and then go back inside to read my scriptures, pray and eat breakfast. To make life easier for myself, I set morning goals the night before.
Last night, my goals were:
- Finish reading the book of Job.
- Start the laundry.
- Get dressed.
Simple goals, but I already have something in mind to do.
It occurred to me that I needed to do the same thing with my children. What are you going to do first thing in the morning? They listed their tasks and what they wanted done. Then, I asked them what they had on their schedules for that day. They quickly shared what was going on at school and what they planned to do in the afternoon -after school. We gathered their school items by the door and made sure they had everything they needed.
We also talked about and shared what we would be doing for the whole week -to build some excitement. One had her first speech club meeting and could hardly wait. Another was thrilled about the possibility of his mission call arriving. (He submitted papers to go on a mission and is waiting to hear back.) It was so much fun to sit on Sunday evening and listen to their plans which also greatly eased the Monday Morning Blues.
So, what really happened on Monday morning? Ease. They got out of bed and quickly set to their tasks. There was no pandemonium about looking for items. The morning moved smoothly from the youngest to the oldest.
By Tracy Atkinson
Tracy Atkinson, mother of six, lives in the Midwest with her husband. She is a teacher, having taught elementary school to higher education, holding degrees in elementary education and a master’s in higher education. Her passion is researching, studying and investigating the attributes related to self-directed learners. She has published several titles, including Calais: The Annals of the Hidden, Lemosa: The Annals of the Hidden, Book Two, Rachel’s 8 and Securing Your Tent. She is currently working on a non-fiction text exploring the attributes of self-directed learners: The Five Characteristics of Self-directed Learners.