Surviving the Morning Routine with a Preschooler

Our morning routine plan is four simple steps:

1. Get dressed.

2. Brush our teeth.

3. Eat breakfast and read a book (the book is his incentive for this part of the plan).

4. Go to school.


There are probably 10 more things you could add to their list but these are the items with the biggest power struggles involved. Every morning repeat the plan in entirety. Then, help them transition into the first step by asking, “What is the first thing we are going to do?” After they're dressed, ask something like,”Do you remember what we do next?” Usually they know but sometimes prompt them with some “teeth brushing” motions as a reminder. You'll notice the third step includes a book incentive which was recently amended to the plan. As a gentle approach to awaking them in the morning, start reading a book as they lay in his crib waking up. It won't take long for them to ask for another book before getting dressed. Worrying that would spiral out of control, add the book to give them incentive to get to step three without (many) arguments. The strategy continues until you are on your way out the door. Once you're in the car, give them lots of praise for working hard to accomplish their morning routine.