Stressed out Dad sitting at kitchen table with young son

How to Overcome a Challenging Morning with Your Kids

Mornings. The battleground of wills. As the dawn breaks, it’s not uncommon for tensions to rise, and the race against the clock begins. Even the most composed parents can find themselves teetering on the edge of frustration. But fear not, fellow parents, for I’ve got some battle-tested strategies to help you survive the morning routine with your kids—even when they’re not exactly cooperative.

Wait one Second…or Ten

In the tumult of the morning routine, with the clock ticking and tensions mounting, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But amidst the chaos, there lies a simple yet powerful tool: the art of taking a beat. Picture this: you’re faced with a resistant toddler, arms crossed defiantly, or a moody teen, buried beneath a fortress of blankets. Your patience wears thin, frustration threatens to boil over, but before you let it consume you, pause.


I know, it sounds like an impossible feat when every second counts, but trust me, a moment of calm amidst the storm can work wonders. Inhale deeply, allowing the air to fill your lungs, and exhale slowly, releasing the tension that grips your body. Feel the weight lift from your shoulders as you center yourself amidst the chaos, reclaiming a sense of control amidst the whirlwind of emotions.

Taking a beat isn’t just about buying yourself time—it’s about reclaiming your power in the face of adversity. It’s a reminder that you are capable of weathering the storm, of finding clarity amidst the chaos. So the next time you feel yourself on the brink of frustration, remember: pause, breathe, and reclaim your calm amidst the chaos.

Pipe Down

Ah, the temptation to let loose a verbal barrage or wield sarcasm like a weapon—it’s a battle we’ve all faced in the heat of the moment. But heed my words, fellow parents, for succumbing to these impulses only fans the flames of conflict. When we raise our voices or unleash biting remarks, we not only escalate the situation but also erode the trust and respect within our familial bonds.

It’s a tough pill to swallow, I know. We’re only human, after all, and our patience wears thin in the face of defiance or disobedience. But let me assure you, the path to resolution lies not in the heat of anger, but in the cool waters of humility and empathy.

If, despite our best efforts, we find ourselves slipping up—letting frustration get the better of us—then we must own it. Apologize. It’s a humbling yet powerful lesson for our children: even adults make mistakes, but what truly matters is taking responsibility for our actions and making amends.

By modeling accountability and vulnerability, we teach our kids the invaluable lessons of empathy and forgiveness. We show them that conflict is not a sign of weakness but an opportunity for growth and understanding. So the next time you feel the urge to lash out, remember: resist temptation, apologize when needed, and nurture the bonds of love and respect within your family.

Where Are They Coming From?

Indeed, empathy is not just a virtue; it’s our secret weapon in navigating the tumultuous waters of parenting. Picture this: your child is dragging their feet, eyes heavy with sleep, as you urge them to rise and shine for the day ahead. You feel the frustration bubbling within you, the urge to push them to move faster, to comply with your demands. But before you do, pause.

Recognize that your child may be tired, cranky, or simply not in the mood. Perhaps they had a restless night’s sleep, or maybe they’re feeling anxious about the day ahead. And hey, let’s not forget about you—your mind may be swirling with work deadlines, bills to pay, and that ominous rattling noise in your car.

In this moment, empathy becomes our greatest ally. Acknowledge each other’s feelings, extend some grace, and remember, you’re all in this together. Take a moment to connect, to understand, to empathize with one another’s struggles. Show your child that you see them, that you hear them, and that you’re here to support them, no matter what.

By fostering a culture of empathy within your family, you not only strengthen your bonds but also lay the foundation for healthy communication and emotional resilience. So the next time you find yourself facing a morning meltdown, remember: empathy is your secret weapon, wield it wisely, and watch as it transforms chaos into calm.

Comm 101

Communication, my friends, is not just a tool; it’s the linchpin of success in navigating the morning mayhem with your kids. Picture this: the clock is ticking, tensions are rising, and you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders as you struggle to corral your reluctant offspring into action. But before you let frustration consume you, pause.

Let your kids know that you’re both starting the day on shaky ground. Share your feelings openly, without judgment or blame, and invite them to do the same. Acknowledge the challenges you’re facing together—the rush to get out the door, the resistance to getting dressed, the inevitable clash of wills—and reassure them that you’re confident that together, you can turn things around.

It’s about regrouping, finding common ground, and facing the day as a united front. Encourage open dialogue, active listening, and mutual respect as you work together to tackle the challenges ahead. Remind your kids that you’re a team, bound together by love and shared experiences, and that no matter what obstacles may arise, you’ll face them together.

After all, as the old adage goes, teamwork makes the dream work—even before breakfast. By fostering a culture of communication and collaboration within your family, you not only strengthen your bonds but also cultivate resilience, resourcefulness, and a sense of belonging. So the next time you find yourself facing a morning meltdown, remember: communication is your greatest ally, wield it wisely, and watch as it transforms chaos into cohesion.

Additional Helpful Tips

Plan It:

Dads, let’s talk about planning. It’s the secret sauce to smoother mornings. Set that alarm a tad earlier—trust me, those few extra minutes can make all the difference. Prep the night before: lay out clothes, pack lunches, and make sure backpacks are ready to go. And speaking of sleep, prioritize it. A well-rested dad is better equipped to tackle the morning madness with grace. Oh, and a pro tip: resist the urge to dive into work emails first thing. Your kids deserve your undivided attention.

The Listicle:

Jot it down and check it off. This simple yet effective tool can work wonders, especially with younger children. Break down the morning routine into manageable steps and use visual aids like checkboxes or a whiteboard. It not only helps them understand what needs to be done but also gives them a sense of accomplishment as they check off each task.

Show Your Appreciation:

Cheerleading time! When your kids go above and beyond—whether it’s getting dressed without a fuss or making their bed without being asked—give them a high-five or a hearty “way to go!” Positive reinforcement goes a long way in motivating them to keep up the good work.

Make it Fun:

Who says mornings have to be boring? Grab that stopwatch and turn the morning routine into a fun challenge. Time your kids as they brush their teeth, get dressed, or race to the breakfast table. See if they can beat their own record from the previous day—it’s a surefire way to inject some excitement into the morning routine.

Minimize Distractions:

Finally, let’s talk about screen time. Is the TV, iPad, or phone the main culprit for those rough mornings? Consider minimizing screen time during the morning rush to decrease distractions and tantrums. Instead, encourage activities that promote engagement and interaction, setting the tone for a positive start to the day.

With a little patience, empathy, and some strategic planning, you can conquer the morning routine and emerge victorious. Remember, we’re all in this together. Now go forth and tackle the day like the parenting superheroes you are!