The Bark Blog                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
father and son, son getting ready for school Mental Health

Finding the Best Morning Routine for Kids: Bark’s Guide for Parents

The Bark Team  |  March 06, 2023

father and son, son getting ready for school

Every parent knows the struggle of getting their kids up and out the door on any given day. Some kids need at least seven wake up calls before they can actually get out of bed and other kids make it their mission to never put on a winter coat (even in freezing temperatures). And when the mornings are frustrating, it can make the whole day seem stressful and overwhelming. 

But there’s hope yet! Believe it or not, finding a great morning routine for kids doesn’t have to be so far out of reach. Lots of parents have found themselves in the same spot and eventually created healthy rhythms to make the mornings way smoother for both the parents and the sleepy kiddos. 

So we found some of the most tried-and-true ways to improve your family’s morning routine and put it all here in one place! Let’s take a look!

Bark’s Morning Routine Checklist For Kids 

Starting with the night-before routine 

Morning-routine experts have long held that the best morning routines actually start about 12 hours before the alarm goes off. The idea is to de-clutter the morning as much as possible by completing certain tasks the night before. So maybe you pack all the school lunches the night before instead of scrambling to do it in the morning. Or perhaps you start having your kids shower and pick out their clothes before bed the night before. You might find these things are a more enjoyable experience when the kiddos aren’t grumpy and groggy from just waking up. 

Similarly, making sure everyone is getting a good night’s sleep will do wonders for your mornings. As long as your night-before-routine includes a consistent bedtime that allows for a proper amount of sleep, then you’re already one step closer to a healthier morning experience!

Don’t forget your morning routine!

As parents, it’s easy to forget to take time for ourselves. Even harder to consider doing that in the morning — which could be at the crack of dawn depending on when your kids wake up. But tons of parents have found it helpful to schedule even just 15 minutes before the kids wake up to have a little me-time. Maybe you just make your coffee and slowly drink it in peace. Or you read a book for a couple of minutes, maybe even get a quick workout in. Whatever it is, you might find you have a more clear and more positive head-space with the kids when you’ve already started the day with yourself.  

Seeing the opportunity for autonomy

While the morning routine is — more often than not — a team effort, it’s also a chance for kids to step into some responsibility and autonomy. Think about the morning chores you usually do and try having your kid do them more consistently instead. The benefit is two-fold — your kid learns responsibility and it’s one less thing that you have to worry about! 

Additionally, particularly for older kids, giving them the space to create their own morning routine can help grow their independence. Maybe you tell them they have to be up by a certain time, but after that, they can decide if they eat breakfast first or get ready first. The freedom to make these small decisions can build their confidence and even show them that you trust their decision-making skills. 

The great balance of consistency and flexibility

The more consistent your morning routine, the better. For lots of families, this means having physical written schedules for the morning, as well as who does which tasks. Could be something along the lines of …

  • 7:30 a.m. - Kids wake up.
  • 7:45 a.m. - Kids brush their teeth and get dressed.
  • 8:00 a.m. - Johnny feeds the dog, Anna helps put breakfast on the table. 
  • 8:15 a.m. - Kids eat breakfast.
  • 8:45 a.m. - Kids get shoes on and walk to the bus stop.

Kids benefit immensely from this type of structure. In fact, the CDC notes that when parents build structure for their kids through consistency and predictability, kids will feel “safe and secure because they know what to expect.” 

But there’s another side to the coin. While consistency is great, it’s not always reality. As a parent, it’s important to anticipate mornings where things will go sideways, sometimes for no good reason at all. Waking up on the wrong side of the bed is real — and both parents and kids can have an off morning every once in a while. 

So that’s where the flexibility comes in. While striving for predictability, remember to keep calm and collected if the morning starts to go off the rails. There will be times when all the chores don’t get done, or maybe someone will sleep in past the alarm. It’s bound to happen, but parents who respond with a cool head (or at least try to) will teach their kids the importance of adapting to things going wrong. 

How Bark Can Help With Morning Routines For Kids 

And there you have it, Bark’s guide to a better morning routine for kids. Bark helps families by providing online monitoring, screen time management, web filtering, and so much more. We can even help with morning routines through the remote alerts feature on the Bark Phone — parents can create an alarm on their Bark app that will go off on the child’s Bark Phone. That way you can be sure they’re woken up exactly when you need them to be! 

We hope this guide helps your family reach your new morning routine goals! Good luck!

Bark helps families manage and protect their children’s digital lives.

mother and daughter discussing Bark Parental Controls