Father making breakfast for his kids at home. Making time to spend quality time with family.

We all have those mornings. The ones when the dog gets loose and you can’t find the missing shoe and everyone is going to be late for everything. It’s easy to think you’re on a one way track to a bad day. But you can turn even the worst morning around!

Building on the first 4 ways to turn a morning around, try these tips sure to make your morning go from bad to better.

#1: Stop

Take thirty seconds and have everyone freeze. Stop looking for the shoe. Stop cleaning up the cereal. Stop huffing around the house. We have 86,400 seconds in a day. Surely we can spare 30.

If you feel up for it, do a few deep belly breaths together.

Or get everyone do 30-second wiggle to shake the harried feeling out. Once they get past the shock of actually stopping the frantic rush to beat the clock and start doing something fun instead, they will likely start giggling. Laughter releases stress and you will all be in a better shape to take your morning back.

Anything that will let you create a pause in the frantic downhill slide of the morning and turn it around into a playful happy one again is game.

#2: Be Grateful

It may sound cliché, and it may be the last thing you’d think of doing, but that’s part of why it works. Think of something you are grateful for, right in the moment. Better yet, say it. Out loud. You can shift those feelings of stress and a lack of control just by being grateful.

The easiest one that works every time? “I’m grateful for you.” Not only will it change your mood, but it will change your child’s mood. The day will be looking better already.

Another one I love (because it also lets me expend all that I-MUST-rant-now energy): “Boy, this morning is rough and we’re all being such goof balls. But am I glad I have you goof balls to share the morning with. What a sad, sad thing it would be to be a goof ball, and be all alone on top of it all. I do so love my family of goof balls. […]”

“Goof balls” is what works for my family. Pick anything else that gets the giggles out of your family and go all out with it!

Young girl and her brother in medical masks with backpacks waving goodbye to their parents to the car while going to school during the pandemic.

#3: Be late

Before I say anything else you should know, I hate to be late. I’m the person that considers on time fifteen minutes early.

But the truth is, it is OK to be a few minutes late now and again.

What’s the worst that can happen?

Your kids will be late to school and perhaps get a tardy slip. Let them. They will learn to make better choices and will be motivated to get out the house early next time without you having to nag them.

You will be a few minutes late to work. So be it. You will choose to wake up a little earlier tomorrow. Or you will learn to be better organized. Or you may just learn that it really isn’t that big a deal to be late once in a while and learn to lighten up.

Either ways, everyone is learning something important.

So take a deep breath, and say out loud for the benefit of everyone involved: “Alright, we’re going to be late today. We’ll deal with the consequences, learn from it and try not to let it happen again in the future, alright?”

#4: Hug

Whatever happened and whatever is to come, hug your kids. Taking a moment to hug your child helps bring stress levels down and lays the foundation for what really matters to you. You love your child. Choosing that moment, even in all the busy chaos, reminds you both how important you are to one another.