May 3, 2016
"Springtime, young children and mornings, they share a lot. They are all young, fresh, and full of growth potential. With the future and all it's possibilities ahead, they exude hope.
If you are reading this, you might be interested in young children. How do your mornings look? Since morning has the power to set the tone for the day like early childhood sets the tone for a person's life, what are your habits?
Many wisdom traditions suggest movement, meditation or centering, whole foods and a calm setting to reawaken the body, mind, and soul and get ready to greet the day. Often young children wake up early and the adults might not be ready to wake up yet. What can you do?
Begin with the reality of being woken up and decide when it's acceptable to start the day, anytime before that, it is still night so time to sleep. If you establish morning rhythms, you will find mornings are more manageable and you can begin while still groggy with sleep. If you prefer moments alone before your child wakes up, plan accordingly or consider it a shared experience.
If you stretch and move to awaken your body, children love to move, you might find yourself with a willing partner, although be careful to not expect adult-like performance. Quiet meditation might not work in the presence of a child, but a meditative song or verse might. As far as food goes, having a plan is helpful. My father used to set the table at night so when we came downstairs, the bowls, cups and spoons were sitting out ready for us. Time is precious in the morning and every little bit that can be done in advance helps.
Having a plan of what to eat for breakfast takes away the need to figure it out in the morning. You might stick to the same meal; oats can cook in the crockpot overnight and be ready for us when we come to the table with perhaps various fruits available as toppings. With repeated weekday breakfasts, that makes weekend breakfasts special with their potential for variety, although I know people who prefer to eat the same thing everyday regardless of the day of the week. As a matter of fact, I've read that President Obama chooses to eat the same thing everyday to reduce the number of decisions he needs to make.
Preparing clothes, bags and anything else you can get ready the night before helps. Having enough time in the morning helps to reduce stress. Given that morning sets the tone for the day, avoiding stress and the body chemistry impacting hormones that go along with it, you will want to have a plan to make mornings as smooth as possible. When stress hormones trigger survival mode, it makes it impossible to take in and digest information, to learn. It can take hours for the body to achieve homeostasis again, energy that is better spent on other things.
Take time to think it through. Like planning for a successful garden, or in the case of a young child a successful life, you can plan for a good start to the day. Once you have a plan, try it out and see what the impact is on your day and on your child's life. If it works, do it again."