Have you noticed how kids are particularly obnoxious in the morning? Dragging their feet, making faces, doing everything at 1/10 of their regular speed?
“What? You haven’t brushed teeth yet? What have you been doing these 15 minutes???”
“Where is your backpack?”
“What do you want for breakfast?”
It’s almost like they are doing it on purpose.
Because they are.
Kids are like cars. If there’s no fuel, they won’t run. Their fuel is love. During the night, you weren’t giving them any love because you were asleep. In the morning, their tank is empty, and they are trying to squeeze attention (which for them is love) out of you.
Klara is not an early riser at all, and having to get up at 7 for kindergarten puts her in a vile mood by itself. Plus, like all small kids, she needs the love fuel. So to wake her up, I come into her room and start buzzing gently in a loving way about how wonderful, beautiful, amazing, and precious she is. That gets her up and puts her in a great mood in no time.
Never say, “come on, hurry, we are in a rush, I have to get to work.” To a child, these words mean “I don’t love you, you aren’t important, you don’t matter to me.” So they start dragging their feet to prove they do matter.
A much more productive thing to say is, “it’s ok, take your time, there’s no rush.” I swear, this gets them to move a lot faster. I get my very late sleeper kid out of the house in 20 minutes, and that includes choosing an outfit, doing her hair, and breakfast.
Obviously, I’m talking about small children. With teenagers what works is that you have to be completely calm, cool, collected, and not chaotic inside. Teenagers are so chaotic inside that they react angrily and aggressively to you own inner chaos. And this is true for any type of engagement, not only the morning routine. Think wild animals. If you encounter a wild animal, the advice is to stay completely still, don’t confront them, don’t make any sudden movements, don’t stare them down. I’ve never tried this on actual wild animals, thank goodness, but with teenagers, complete internal stillness is the ticket.