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Morning Routine

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    Morning Routine

    I’m hoping to tackle a few of the spots in our days that are extra hard, while we work on more long term solutions with my eldest. I’m hoping we can have a little improvment and relief.

    For her, the mornings start off bad from the moment she wakes up. The yelling, stomping, screaming, name calling, refusing to obey... It makes it difficult for us as parents and for her to recover and have a good day. We have had a morning routine in place for two years. The only change to the routine (in the last 6 months) is the first person awake lets the puppy out. We have breakfast food with protein available immediately that she can serve herself. The routine has time built in for her to have some alone time to read or play if she’d like. She has always been an early riser.

    Any suggestions?
    Heidi

    2018-19
    dd- 3m
    ds- SC 1
    dd- SC B

    #2
    Re: Morning Routine

    Originally posted by VAmom View Post
    I’m hoping to tackle a few of the spots in our days that are extra hard, while we work on more long term solutions with my eldest. I’m hoping we can have a little improvment and relief.

    For her, the mornings start off bad from the moment she wakes up. The yelling, stomping, screaming, name calling, refusing to obey... It makes it difficult for us as parents and for her to recover and have a good day. We have had a morning routine in place for two years. The only change to the routine (in the last 6 months) is the first person awake lets the puppy out. We have breakfast food with protein available immediately that she can serve herself. The routine has time built in for her to have some alone time to read or play if she’d like. She has always been an early riser.

    Any suggestions?
    Can you walk us through a typical morning? It will help pinpoint where the breakdown might be. What time does she go to bed and get to sleep (since we all know those aren’t necessarily the same time!). Does she wake herself or is she woken up by other sounds? What elements of the routine get the most push-back?
    Jennifer


    2018-2019
    DS-14 & DS-15 (MP9 Literature, Novare Intro to Physics, Light to the Nations I (CTP), MPOA for: Latin, Pre-Algebra, Ref/Con
    DS-12 (6M)
    DS-10 (SC3)
    DD-8 (MP2)
    DD-6 (SC2)
    DD-3 (NT using SCB for gradual intro to JrK)

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Morning Routine

      Originally posted by VAmom View Post
      I’m hoping to tackle a few of the spots in our days that are extra hard, while we work on more long term solutions with my eldest. I’m hoping we can have a little improvment and relief.

      For her, the mornings start off bad from the moment she wakes up. The yelling, stomping, screaming, name calling, refusing to obey... It makes it difficult for us as parents and for her to recover and have a good day. We have had a morning routine in place for two years. The only change to the routine (in the last 6 months) is the first person awake lets the puppy out. We have breakfast food with protein available immediately that she can serve herself. The routine has time built in for her to have some alone time to read or play if she’d like. She has always been an early riser.

      Any suggestions?
      My oldest is an angry BEAR in the morning. He always has been, will likely always be, and has also always been an early riser. However, I have found that letting him make his own breakfast (or letting him serve breakfast for all of us), get dressed by himself first thing and get a an immediate reward (one show on PBS Kids) is the complete opposite of Angry Bear Syndrome. Independence is what motivates Winston. He wants choices, competence, and the ability to take care of us (that’s his personality, through and through — he thinks he’s a grown up and he’s a natural nurterer). He also needs more hugs, back rubs and cuddles in the morning than he ever asks for (read: never ask for, I have to give him attention purposefully).

      So whatever it is that motivates your daughter, exploit that. Does she need more control? Offer more choices and an immediate reward. She may be an Anger Tornado in the morning in order to get attention and gain control. Give her another way to fill that need that doesn’t upset everyone.
      Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
      Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
      Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
      Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

      “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
      ~Pope St John Paul II

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Morning Routine

        I’ll start with our bedtime routine. It also has been the same for years.
        7:00- clean room, pajamas, brush teeth, use restroom
        7:30- reading (she’s welcome to join read aloud with the youngers or to read by herself in her bed)
        8:00- lights out

        Depending on the night, whether she has melatonin (we try not to use it every night), she’s asleep between 8:30-9:00.

        Her wake up time is usually between 6-6:30am. Today it was 5:30am. 😳 Once she is awake, she doesn’t go back to sleep. She wakes herself up.

        Her dad and I are up between 6-6:30am. We have our quiet time and workout until 7am. She is able to play, read or have a self serve breakfast quietly until 7am. At 7am we all get dressed, make beds, complete animal chores, have breakfast and clean up from breakfast. This is to be done by 8:30am when school starts.

        I’m not sure what is getting the most push back. There are mornings she wakes up upset even before the rest of us are awake. Today it didn’t start until 7am when we began getting ready. It seems consistently grouchy but inconsistent with the trigger. I will keep thinking on it.
        Heidi

        2018-19
        dd- 3m
        ds- SC 1
        dd- SC B

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Morning Routine

          Originally posted by VAmom View Post
          There are mornings she wakes up upset even before the rest of us are awake. Today it didn’t start until 7am when we began getting ready. It seems consistently grouchy but inconsistent with the trigger. I will keep thinking on it.
          This could be a transition issue. I’ve had three kids who simply could not transition to being awake after nap time. One of them would cry for 30 minutes straight every time they woke up from a nap (which they needed to have!). With two of them, it can affect their mornings as well. They struggle with transitions in general as well. Ive never figured out a way to help other than by giving them space and time to adjust on rough mornings and not waking them up if they’re sleeping in.

          When she pushed back at “get ready” time, had she been involved in a project or some activity that she was then expected to put down fairly immediately in order to move forward? Anytime we don’t give a few-minute warning we know we’re going to have trouble. Sometimes we have trouble with the warning but it generally helps.
          Jennifer


          2018-2019
          DS-14 & DS-15 (MP9 Literature, Novare Intro to Physics, Light to the Nations I (CTP), MPOA for: Latin, Pre-Algebra, Ref/Con
          DS-12 (6M)
          DS-10 (SC3)
          DD-8 (MP2)
          DD-6 (SC2)
          DD-3 (NT using SCB for gradual intro to JrK)

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Morning Routine

            Originally posted by VAmom View Post
            I’ll start with our bedtime routine. It also has been the same for years.
            7:00- clean room, pajamas, brush teeth, use restroom
            7:30- reading (she’s welcome to join read aloud with the youngers or to read by herself in her bed)
            8:00- lights out

            Depending on the night, whether she has melatonin (we try not to use it every night), she’s asleep between 8:30-9:00.

            Her wake up time is usually between 6-6:30am. Today it was 5:30am. 😳 Once she is awake, she doesn’t go back to sleep. She wakes herself up.

            Her dad and I are up between 6-6:30am. We have our quiet time and workout until 7am. She is able to play, read or have a self serve breakfast quietly until 7am. At 7am we all get dressed, make beds, complete animal chores, have breakfast and clean up from breakfast. This is to be done by 8:30am when school starts.

            I’m not sure what is getting the most push back. There are mornings she wakes up upset even before the rest of us are awake. Today it didn’t start until 7am when we began getting ready. It seems consistently grouchy but inconsistent with the trigger. I will keep thinking on it.

            Does she get enough good sleep without the melatonin?

            Your routine on both ends looks very good. This sounds more internal than external. It might be worth asking the doctor about additional help with sleep.

            Fwiw, Michael needs help with good sleep. When mine were little someone told us that sleep issues and neurological/developmental issues are often linked, so we should not be surprised at this.

            If Michael's sleep is poor, he is miserable, sullen, and very grouchy (euphemism) when he awakens. Melatonin helps him, especially if he has become overwrought during the day, is overly tired, or is in a persistent up-swing.

            Long ago Michelle's pediatric neurologist prescribed an extended-release melatonin for her, because she could neither fall asleep nor stay asleep. Now her mornings are almost always sunny simply because she is sleeping!

            All of this might something to ponder with your doctor, because otherwise you're doing "everything right."

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Morning Routine

              I forgot to mention: I share your concern about overdoing the melatonin. We’ve used Nature Calm powdered magnesium with good results. Just start at 1/4 - 1/2 tsp and work up slowly until you see improvement. If her stomach is sensitive, you might want to give it every other day. Maybe you could alternate days with the melatonin? The good thing is that it doesn’t only help you get to sleep but helps you stay asleep and sleep well (not like a sleeping pill though!).

              Another important thing to consider: her anxiety might be interfering with her sleep. I’ve had OCD instances where I thought something was an issue and was very anxious and trying to work it out — all while asleep.

              ETA: a doctor once told me that OCD will worsen whenever a person is under any kind of stress. Even good stress. Too much activity, too little sleep, changes in routines...anything above baseline. Or even at baseline if a family has a chronically high stress factor. Ensuring that her sleep is good quality could go a long way to helping on the anxiety front.
              Last edited by jen1134; 10-24-2018, 12:41 PM.
              Jennifer


              2018-2019
              DS-14 & DS-15 (MP9 Literature, Novare Intro to Physics, Light to the Nations I (CTP), MPOA for: Latin, Pre-Algebra, Ref/Con
              DS-12 (6M)
              DS-10 (SC3)
              DD-8 (MP2)
              DD-6 (SC2)
              DD-3 (NT using SCB for gradual intro to JrK)

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Morning Routine

                Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
                I forgot to mention: I share your concern about overdoing the melatonin. We’ve used Nature Calm powdered magnesium with good results. Just start at 1/4 - 1/2 tsp and work up slowly until you see improvement. If her stomach is sensitive, you might want to give it every other day. Maybe you could alternate days with the melatonin? The good thing is that it doesn’t only help you get to sleep but helps you stay asleep and sleep well (not like a sleeping pill though!).

                Another important thing to consider: her anxiety might be interfering with her sleep. I’ve had OCD instances where I thought something was an issue and was very anxious and trying to work it out — all while asleep.

                ETA: a doctor once told me that OCD will worsen whenever a person is under any kind of stress. Even good stress. Too much activity, too little sleep, changes in routines...anything above baseline. Or even at baseline if a family has a chronically high stress factor. Ensuring that her sleep is good quality could go a long way to helping on the anxiety front.
                Yes, good points, Jen. For one child melatonin might help, for another something else. We were also told to give calcium & magnesium at bed, which we do for both as well. Always check with the doctor about your own child's situation. The doctor might even suggest seeing a specialist. If you approach the doctor, bring your key bullet points to the discussion. This will include the fact that you have covered the typical bases, good evening routine, good morning routine. If you did not mention sufficient food at night, check this too. Who knows; it could be an easy fix! My son confessed that his stomach was grumbling overnight keeping him awake, so we increased the calories and protein at dinner. No more grumbling stomach!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Morning Routine

                  Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                  Yes, good points, Jen. For one child melatonin might help, for another something else. We were also told to give calcium & magnesium at bed, which we do for both as well. Always check with the doctor about your own child's situation. The doctor might even suggest seeing a specialist. If you approach the doctor, bring your key bullet points to the discussion. This will include the fact that you have covered the typical bases, good evening routine, good morning routine. If you did not mention sufficient food at night, check this too. Who knows; it could be an easy fix! My son confessed that his stomach was grumbling overnight keeping him awake, so we increased the calories and protein at dinner. No more grumbling stomach!
                  HUNGER — yes.
                  SLEEP, STRESS, CHANGES TO SCHEDULE, ANXIETY — yes.

                  No matter how grouchy (euphemism) my Boy is in the mornings, as soon as he gets food in his tummy, he’s himself again. But he eats the most for dinner out of all the children and he gets (I assume) about 10-11 hours of sleep each night. He’s always been terrible at transitions (though he’s getting better as the years advance) so — again — my solution was to give him freedom, choice and a “carrot” for good behavior. Mornings have been much, much smoother ever since. But we have somewhere we absolutely have to be every weekday morning. I don’t think this would have worked when we were homeschooling. Our schedule lacked urgency. That might be a factor.
                  Boy Wonder: 10, MP2/SC4 (Special Needs)
                  Joy Bubble: 8, MP2 (Special Needs)
                  Snuggly Cowboy: 6, MPK
                  Sweet Lightness: 2, Reverse-Engineering Specialist

                  “Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.”
                  ~Pope St John Paul II

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Morning Routine

                    Originally posted by Anita View Post
                    HUNGER — yes.
                    SLEEP, STRESS, CHANGES TO SCHEDULE, ANXIETY — yes.

                    No matter how grouchy (euphemism) my Boy is in the mornings, as soon as he gets food in his tummy, he’s himself again. But he eats the most for dinner out of all the children and he gets (I assume) about 10-11 hours of sleep each night. He’s always been terrible at transitions (though he’s getting better as the years advance) so — again — my solution was to give him freedom, choice and a “carrot” for good behavior. Mornings have been much, much smoother ever since. But we have somewhere we absolutely have to be every weekday morning. I don’t think this would have worked when we were homeschooling. Our schedule lacked urgency. That might be a factor.
                    With apologies for diverting from the original question, how is your Boy doing in his classical charter school?? Still half days or full?

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Morning Routine

                      Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
                      Does she get enough good sleep without the melatonin?

                      Your routine on both ends looks very good. This sounds more internal than external. It might be worth asking the doctor about additional help with sleep.

                      Fwiw, Michael needs help with good sleep. When mine were little someone told us that sleep issues and neurological/developmental issues are often linked, so we should not be surprised at this.

                      If Michael's sleep is poor, he is miserable, sullen, and very grouchy (euphemism) when he awakens. Melatonin helps him, especially if he has become overwrought during the day, is overly tired, or is in a persistent up-swing.

                      Long ago Michelle's pediatric neurologist prescribed an extended-release melatonin for her, because she could neither fall asleep nor stay asleep. Now her mornings are almost always sunny simply because she is sleeping!

                      All of this might something to ponder with your doctor, because otherwise you're doing "everything right."
                      Cheryl, thank you for saying we are doing everything right. It is so easy for me to fall into the trap of thinking if I try one more thing, tweak this or do that, things will get better. Somehow all of this is dependent on me fixing it. It’s why I’m posting.

                      I do think her anxiety (and whatever else it might be) is playing the star role in this. We are trying to tackle that but it is a slower process. My thought was if we could ease some of the stickiest parts of the day, we might better ease other parts.

                      Yes, transitions are difficult in general. Mornings have a natural chaotic component to them as there are several things to get done before. In general we give 5 minute warnings before a transition, have assigned times for bigger transitions (getting ready for the day begins at 7am) and removed as much of the unknown out of it (checking the weather the night before, breakfast menu is posted, etc.)

                      I’m going to look into the extended release melatonin, magnesium and calcium. The developmental ped suggested using the melatonin regularly to help her fall asleep consistently. I might try that to see if it helps. I’ll reach out to him to ask about the magnesium and calcium. Otherwise, I’m out of other ideas.
                      Last edited by VAmom; 10-25-2018, 11:07 AM.
                      Heidi

                      2018-19
                      dd- 3m
                      ds- SC 1
                      dd- SC B

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Morning Routine

                        Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
                        I forgot to mention: I share your concern about overdoing the melatonin. We’ve used Nature Calm powdered magnesium with good results. Just start at 1/4 - 1/2 tsp and work up slowly until you see improvement. If her stomach is sensitive, you might want to give it every other day. Maybe you could alternate days with the melatonin? The good thing is that it doesn’t only help you get to sleep but helps you stay asleep and sleep well (not like a sleeping pill though!).
                        Another option for Magnesium is a dermal spray. I use it for myself on the nights where my mind is racing, and it's jut like Jen describes. I go to sleep, and don't toss and turn. I use it on my kids from time to time, but they complain that it itches or burns. I never have this issue.

                        I've also used tryptophan in the past --- not sure of the safety/efficacy for children, and the tablets are pretty big.
                        DD #1 : 23, college GRADUATE
                        DD #2 : 12 MP 7A - HLS Cottage School Louisville, MPOA
                        DS #3 : 10, MP3M+Simply Classical4; HLS Cottage School Louisville
                        DS #4 : 10, MP3M+Simply Classical4; HLS Cottage School Louisville
                        DD #5: 6, MP 1 at HLS
                        DS #6: 4, cutest caboose on the loose
                        http://www.thekennedyadventures.com

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Morning Routine

                          Originally posted by DiannaKennedy View Post
                          Another option for Magnesium is a dermal spray. I use it for myself on the nights where my mind is racing, and it's jut like Jen describes. I go to sleep, and don't toss and turn. I use it on my kids from time to time, but they complain that it itches or burns. I never have this issue.
                          A ha! I answered my own question:

                          "REASONS WHY MAGNESIUM OIL STINGS
                          There is a very strong link between low levels of magnesium in the body and the stinging caused by magnesium oil. In most cases, people who experience this burning sensation during or after applying magnesium spray believe that their skin is sensitive to magnesium oil. However, this is not always true. The reasons why magnesium oil can cause skin tingling can be any or the combination of the following:

                          Severe deficiency
                          Magnesium oil causing itchiness can be the sign of low levels of the mineral in your body. Therefore, the more severe the deficiency is, the more severe the sensation. Itchiness is often a side effect when magnesium deficient skin is first introduced to Magnesium Oil. This "urgency reaction" causes the blood vessels to open quickly, creating friction under the skin. This sensation and other side effects should subside when the product is used consistently and the body no longer has the "urgency reaction".
                          Too much magnesium at once
                          Slapping a ton of magnesium oil on your skin can be tempting if you are deficient, however, it is not always the best idea. Suddenly ramping up the amount of magnesium oil you apply may contribute to the stinging sensation. Gradually get your body get used to the topical magnesium oil, especially if you are a first-time user.
                          Vasodilatation
                          Magnesium oil acts as the vasodilator that relaxes muscle cells and increases blood flow in capillaries. This may also cause a stinging sensation.
                          Salt residue
                          Technically speaking, magnesium oil is Magnesium Chloride Brine, i.e. salt water. Once the oil has been absorbed into the skin, it may leave behind a slight residue, which can trigger itchiness for individuals with sensitive skin."
                          DD #1 : 23, college GRADUATE
                          DD #2 : 12 MP 7A - HLS Cottage School Louisville, MPOA
                          DS #3 : 10, MP3M+Simply Classical4; HLS Cottage School Louisville
                          DS #4 : 10, MP3M+Simply Classical4; HLS Cottage School Louisville
                          DD #5: 6, MP 1 at HLS
                          DS #6: 4, cutest caboose on the loose
                          http://www.thekennedyadventures.com

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Morning Routine

                            On that note, I’ll look for magnesium gummies. (I’ll worry about reteaching the kids gummies versus medicine another day.)
                            Heidi

                            2018-19
                            dd- 3m
                            ds- SC 1
                            dd- SC B

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: Morning Routine

                              My husband and I sat down with my eldest and went over morning routine, epectations and realities. She said she likes helping out but isn’t ready for people. We reiterated where she can have space and what are considered family spaces. Nothing new or ground breaking but it seems to have helped some. The last few mornings have been more moderate which is a welcomed relief. Thank you ladies! You’re truly a blessing!
                              Heidi

                              2018-19
                              dd- 3m
                              ds- SC 1
                              dd- SC B

                              Comment

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