What kind of opportunities do you give for kids to follow through before getting consequences?
Example: It is each child's responsibility to make their bed, tidy their bedroom, get dressed to shoes before breakfast at 7:30. I try to say encouraging things to get kids to hurry along, letting them know how much time has passed and how much is left before breakfast - even advertising what's coming for breakfast to motivate them. So, when they don't do it, or don't do it on time I suddenly wonder what is the right thing to do. Do they miss breakfast? Do they get to eat breakfast, but get an extra chore because they didn't follow instructions? Do they get to eat breakfast when they finally do finish their room, and is that considered following instructions since it isn't within the time frame I gave them?
I don't know one person that hasn't been up against the, morning routine that falls apart, problem. We have had that problem more times than I care to even count. Over the years it has been talked about in more family meetings than anything else.
There are many reasons why people don't accomplish there morning rountines. The most common is that they don't get up on time. (At least that is our most common.) To wake up on time, the family must have a night time routine that works. If the night routine works, the morning routine has more of a chance. Whenever we go about trying to fix our morning routines, we always go back to the night routine first and see if everything is working there. If the night routine is not a problem, some people may need to get up earlier than they do now to accomplish the task.
We often allow time in our night routine for rooms to be clean, so that they don't have to worry about them in the morning. That is another way to save time.
The other reason morning routines are messed up is people getting off task. My children love to read. They wake up in the morning and imedaitely start reading. I often times don't even know they are up yet. If I let them go on reading, they wouldn't ever do their morning rountines.
To start things moving in the right direction, I give them a daily vision. I go into their rooms, sit on their beds and tell them how the day is scheduled and when they can have play time if things go well. Then I say, "Well, we better get started. Get dressed, bed made, room clean. We will start the day in exactly 30 minutes."
This short vision removes anxiety about having to work the whole day. Which is one thing I have found that starts them not wanting to do anything from the start. It also lets them know there isn't time to waist at this part of the day. That part comes later.
If you have a child that doesn't stay on task well, constantly go in and praise them for their little successes for a few weeks, to start them feeling that they have what it takes to stay on task. They feel they always stay on task, because that is something they always get praise for. Use praise as a teacher when you can.
If someone chooses not to get done on time, oh well. I doesn't hurt you. That is self government. That is there choice. Start you day and let them know that they have earned an extra chore and to finish their morning routine at 3:00 (or whenever free time is), or that they will need to finish their morning routine at free time because it is time to move on with the family's day.
Have them write it down and post it somewhere in the house where you will see it all day. This is so you don't forget. If you forget, they will think that they can play a system at home to get out of things. This teaches them dishonest behaviors.
We still struggle with morning routines not always working. We are constantly recommiting as a family to doing this time of the day better. Don't let one bad morning ruin the spirit in your home, just keep moving forward. The relationships in the family are more important than made beds anyway.