Create a Soundtrack Timed to Your Kids’ Morning Assignments

I understand that some parents are good at mornings. I’m not one of them, but I would like to be, and I kind of should be, especially since my child goes to kindergarten, where there are school calls and real delays.

It’s orientation week for freshmen at Lifehacker! This week, we’ll share how to break out of the summer fog and plunge into the autumn burst of activity, whether you’re heading to campus for the first time, getting your kids ready for school, or looking for ways to simply be more productive in school. So buckle up your Guardian Hunters with Velcro, apprentices. The class is now in session.

These mums and dads are not united by some superpowers from the AM gods, but by clear strategies that work for their families. Here’s an example from a new book by C.J. Dell’Antonia from the new book How to Become a Happier Parent: Raising a Family, Having a Life and Love (Almost) Every Minute :

“We literally have a soundtrack,” says Whit Honea, a father of two in Los Angeles. “He plays from door to door, and all of their lines are marked accordingly.”

Yeah, the man created a playlist dedicated to his kids’ morning assignments . It sounds stressful, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder if this idea might work in my home. We love music and often use upbeat songs to put things in order quickly . Choosing the right tracks will be key here. You want them to be fun but not manic, fun but not distracting.

Here’s a potential playlist I just came up with. Maybe these songs are too intrusive, but I think this is what you need when it’s still early and you haven’t had your first cup of coffee yet. Play with your list.

Wake Up and Stretch:A Beautiful Day by U2.

Wash Faces and Brush Your Teeth:Car Wash by Christina Aguilera featuring Missy Elliott.

Eat Breakfast:Jack Johnson’s Banana Pancakes.

Dress Up:“Get Ready” by The Temptations.

Pack your things and walk out the door:“Send Me On The Road” by Rusted Root.

I will need to do some testing to make sure the timing is right. There will probably be some trial and error methods, but they are worth it if they make the morning smoother. Once you’ve picked the perfect AM soundtrack, walk your kids through it for the first week or so. After that, the idea is that their brains will be programmed to use songs to help them accomplish their tasks. Believe me, they’ll be happier to wake up when Bono hums “Heart – bloom …” than when Dad shouts “WHAT! You still haven’t gotten out of bed ?! “


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