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Publication #FAR0036

Morning Routines 1

Diana Converse2

Figure 1. 
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Waking a child and getting through the "morning routine" is one of the most common complaints of parents. We shouldn't be surprised. Many people would rather avoid getting out of a warm, cozy bed to face the pressures of another day. Children are no different. In fact, they have a few special excuses for being so grumpy in the morning. Children tend to sleep more deeply than adults. Research shows that they also need more sleep than adults, with most requiring a minimum of eight to ten hours of sleep a night.

To establish a more pleasant morning routine, experts at several universities recommend talking with your child about expectations and changes you would like to make in the household's morning routine.

Get up about 20 minutes earlier than your children so you can focus on what you need to accomplish to prepare for your day. Many parents find it's easiest to complete the majority of their personal morning routine before waking their children.

Start organizing clothing, lunches and even breakfast the night before. Young children can benefit from charts to help them remember to brush their teeth, get dressed, or make their bed each morning. The National Network for Child Care has a helpful chart that lists morning activities and helps distribute them fairly among family members or rotate them to prevent feelings of being in a rut. Morning routines are a family affair. Remember that you are helping your children to learn to be responsible, so make the morning routine an opportunity for your children to achieve and succeed.

Listening, learning, and living together: it's the science of life. "Family Album" is a co-production of University of Florida IFAS Extension, the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences and of WUFT-FM. If you'd like to learn more, please visit our website at

To listen to the radio broadcast:


Evans, Garret. (2003). Time management for kids (FCS2111). Gainesville: Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Retrieved June 8, 2007, from

Molgaard, V. (1994). Balancing work and family: Avoid the morning rush. Retrieved June 8, 2007, from



This document is FAR0036, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Broadcast as program 143 and published January 2008. Reviewed January 2015. In the interest of time and/or clarity, the broadcast version of this script may have been modified. Visit the EDIS website at


Diana Converse, Extension agent III, Hillsborough County, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.