The Cornflake Rush Hour – early morning stress !

Just relax and breathe deeply and slowly and concentrate on what happens in your home in the mornings.

See in lots of detail your typical early morning routine. Notice what you say…… how you say it….. what your tone of voice sounds like…… what your body language is like…… your breathing…… your feelings inside.

This helps you to identify the very specific things that are causing you stress.

Grab a coffee and a piece of paper and draw a circle and mark in it segments. Like the spokes on a wheel. Now fill the circle up with things that cause you the most stress: things like you getting dressed or rushing to have time for a shower, putting on makeup, or getting the children up, getting the children dressed, getting breakfast, getting the bags packed, making the sandwiches, tidying up, or prizing the kids away from the telly.

Now think about each segment in turn, and identify the three things that cause you the most stress.

Close your eyes and focus on the stress of the mornings in your home.

• What impact does it have on you and your children?

• What are your children feeling?

• What are they learning from you?

• How is this setting your children up for the day ahead?

• How are you setting yourself up for the day ahead?

• How do you feel about this? • Now press an imaginary pause button like on your TV remote control player and freeze frame everything for just a moment. Take a few moments here to go over it again in your mind in a perfect way – the way you would like things to happen.

• What are you doing?

• What are the children doing?

• What are you saying?

• Remember a time in the past when things have really gone well. What are you doing…… what are you saying …… how are you feeling?

Just relax and notice the things that you do when things go well so you can do them again more often! • How does it feel to be in control?

• What difference is it making to your early-morning family time?

ACTION Write down your perfect morning scenario in great detail. This is a clean slate. Write down things like: At what point would you like the TV to go on or would you prefer not to have it on at all? If it goes on who turns it off? How long is it on for? Is it just one programme of 20 minutes or is it a feature length film? Be very specific.

Write it out in five-minute segments. This helps you to focus and see clearly, the changes you would like to make. Of course, in reality, you’ve got to be flexible.

Think about the possible challenges that you might need to overcome in order to achieve what you want. Write down the most significant obstacle that could prevent you from achieving this happy breakfast time.

Now think of a solution to it!

Take control!!