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Nightly Routine Leads to a Good Morning for Children with Disabilities

June 28, 2013

Parenthood is not supposed to be easy. This is especially true when raising a disabled child. Thankfully, there are many parenting tips that may help to simplify your life. One of the most acclaimed pieces of advice, (but a hard one to follow) is implementing a nightly routine that prepares your family for the next day’s morning rush.

You probably experience morning chaos in your home. This takes place in every family environment, and to a greater degree, in a family that loves and cares for a disabled child.


Children with disabilities can stir up early stress because of unpredictable needs. Whether your child has a developmental disability or physical handicap, having a preparation plan in place may ensure the next day begins on the right foot.

Morning Chaos for Children with Disabilities

Chaotic mornings are normal in many homes. In families that have children with disabilities, an AM routine takes on entirely new meaning. To avoid an overwhelming situation, here are some parenting tips you may want to use in a preparation plan:

– Let your child pick out what he or she wants to wear.

As you help your child put together outfits, leaving extra time to discuss appropriate fashion choices may be helpful. Also, this allows you to avoid clothing malfunctions, (as in losing a button, breaking a zipper, or having a stain) that may cause you to feel overwhelmed when there is little time on the clock.

– Help your child pack his or her backpack.

Have you heard the saying, “Proper planning prevents poor performance”? This is true for just about every aspect of life. In the most formative years, it is wise to teach your children the truth behind this saying. By helping your child prepare for school a night in advance, you can help him or her have a successful day. In addition, you may eliminate frustration that comes from missing supplies and late assignments, as well as instill him or her with the importance of this lifelong lesson.

– Make school lunches and prepare breakfast.

Setting out a breakfast spread (of non-perishable items) may encourage your child to help him or herself to a morning meal while you are attending to other tasks. At the very least, this makes the act of feeding children more simple. Also, preparing lunches and snacks ahead of time allows you to avoid a crowded kitchen.

– Have your child bathe at night.

The grooming process takes a lot of time and energy, but more than necessity, there are many benefits to doing this activity at night: it reinforces the importance of proper hygiene, allows for parent and child bonding, and encourages healthy sleep patterns. Plus, this keeps AM bathroom traffic to a minimum.

Preparation Helps You Avoid Consequences of Chaos

The list above lays out some tips for planning ahead, limiting chaos, and using the gift of night’s time to prepare for an easy morning. As a result, you may eliminate potential stressors that hinder a successful day. By doing these things, you will avoid some of the following consequences of rushed actions.

– Having to collect school supplies, or locating school assignments
– Picking out outfits and trying to debate clothing choices
– Rushing meal time and resorting to unhealthy, quick food options
– Last minute, half done grooming
– Temper tantrums
– Missing the bus, which may lead to being late for school (and work, too)

These are normal occruances in every household. Nevertheless, they are annoying, frustrating, and time consuming for all children and parents, especially when they happen to a disabled child.

Helping your child accomplish morning tasks ahead of time allows him or her to go into each day with confidence. By getting the tricky tasks out of the way, your child is ready for a successful school day.


Image made available by erin leigh mcconnell on Flickr through Creative Common Licenses.

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