7 Ways to Cultivate Slower, More Mindful Mornings—For Parents and Kids

Yes, it’s possible.

By Brandy Joy Smith
Mother reading to children.

Mornings with kids can be quite challenging. If we’re honest, one of the things many of us (especially me) miss from our pre-parenting days is the peaceful, slow, and scheduled start to our mornings. It’s difficult to let go of our old routines and embrace the unpredictability of children’s sleep schedules and moods.

Featured image by Zachary Gray.

Mother and son at kitchen table.
Image by Teal Thomsen

7 Ways to Cultivate Mindful Mornings With Kids

As we approach the holidays, when time seems to fly by even faster and stress seeps in, it’s the perfect moment to share ideas for spending mindful mornings with your kids. Ahead, discover mindfulness activities that can help you and your children begin your day in a more peaceful and meaningful way. Trust me, prioritizing a peaceful start will make everyone’s day better.

Connect With Your Kids in the Morning

The last thing anyone wants first thing in the morning is to start the day with orders or instructions. Thanks to gentle parenting classes, I’ve learned the importance of connecting with my kids before anything else. For us, this means a gentle wake-up hug and a moment in bed asking them about their dreams or how they feel as they wake up.

If your kids wake up before you, consider inviting them to sit on the edge of your bed and share their morning thoughts. It’s a brief 3-5 minute check-in that sets a positive tone for the day and makes it easier to collaborate on the next steps to get out the door.

Form a Morning Practice With Your Kids

Pre-children, I enjoyed a cup of coffee and some journaling to kickstart my day. While those luxuries are less frequent now, I still prioritize my morning practice, and I want to instill a similar routine in my kids. Given their age, we’ve started with a simple breathing technique—inhaling through the nose for four seconds and exhaling through the mouth for four seconds, repeating four times. It not only brings laughter but also infuses peace into our mornings.

Woman walking outside in nature.

Connect With Your Kids in Nature

Living in California allows us to enjoy the outdoors almost year-round. Even if you reside in a colder climate, spending a few minutes outside together can help ground you. This might involve having breakfast in the backyard, walking to school, or simply opening the front door, sitting on the porch barefoot, and saying, “Good morning, world, it’s me [your name].” (My husband came up with that one.)

Start the Day With Affirmations

You’ve probably seen those heartwarming Instagram moments where parents speak affirmations to their children. I’m a huge fan of this practice, especially during routine tasks like brushing hair, applying sunscreen, or washing hands. It not only distracts them from tasks they might not want to do but also pumps them up for the day ahead.

Mother and daughter cuddling.

Set a Positive Tone in the Morning

We all have those days when we wake up feeling slightly off, and the same can happen to our kids. When I sense a gloomy morning, I know it’s time to change the energy in the room. My go-to solution is putting on some happy jazz music on Spotify. It’s incredible how a few cheerful tunes can transform the atmosphere and set a more positive tone for the day ahead.

Move Your Body Together

Sometimes, we all need a little backup, and I’m not afraid to use the TV for that. While you can certainly do physical activities without a screen, sometimes I prefer not to be the teacher. So, we turn on a yoga session and do five poses. Currently, our favorite is Paw Patrol yoga, but there are plenty of other calming options available if you need them. Using a mirror to practice with can also be really helpful.

Explore Your Senses as a Family

This activity takes a bit more effort, but it’s a great way to spark conversations and have a mindful morning with your kids. You engage all five senses and encourage your kids to join in. For example, while eating cereal at the table, you might say, “The milk feels cold in my mouth. How does it feel in yours?” Or, “This sunscreen is slimy, isn’t it?” Asking questions like, “What color do you want to eat this morning?” or “How do your pants make you feel?” prompts your child to connect consciously with their senses, helping them become more present in their bodies as they start their day.

Mother and baby.
Image by Teal Thomsen

Final Thoughts

Contrary to popular belief, mornings with kids don’t have to be chaotic and rushed. In fact, they can become your favorite part of the day! By incorporating these mindful morning activities, you can create a peaceful and positive start to your day, setting the tone for a happier and more harmonious family life.

Embrace the opportunity to connect, practice mindfulness, enjoy nature, boost confidence with affirmations, set a cheerful mood, move your body, and engage your senses. It really only takes about 5-10 minutes to create mindful mornings with kids. And I promise, you’ll be so happy you did so.

Looking for more ways to weave mindfulness into your morning routine? Let Camille’s AM rituals inspire your own.