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Six Keys to the Perfect Foster Family Morning Routine

Updated: Dec 27, 2022

Essential Routines for the Foster Family series introduces the foster family morning routine. This post is one in a series of posts on routines.

In order to be effective as a foster parent, essential routines for the foster family must be established. What routines are essential to be efficient? With the added pressures of visits, doctor appointments, therapy and school meetings, the proper management of the foster home are essential.

Here are a few of the other posts:



  • (other freebies can be found here)

Today, I’m going to refer you to another essential routine for foster families and that is bedtime routines and morning routines. I had a sleep specialist do a guest blog post regarding sleeping habits and the need for great sleep. It is worth revisiting if you have foster children. Read it first here:

So, you have your meal planning made simple ideas and your monthly and weekly planning going. Let’s talk about a morning routine and why a Foster Family Morning Routine is essential. These children need consistency and routine in the morning and the evening. After-school routines are helpful as well.

Focus - Morning Routine

Your children need to know that there are routines when they wake up so if you are still in bed or in the shower, your child can get on with their day simultaneously. What is the first thing you want them to do upon awakening? If they are older, they may fix breakfast then do their hygiene routine. Next, they may need to get dressed and comb her hair. After that, get their bookbag and lunch ready by the door.

Decide on the tasks that need to be done and then make a list of the order in which you would like them to be accomplished. Do you need a separate routine for the weekend? Establish that list and order as well. If there is extra time, are there any chores that need to be completed? Put that on the list.

Simple morning routine for a foster family with a boy.

It will be helpful to write the routine down and put basic times beside the routine (if the child can tell time) so that they are finished with their routine at the same time you are. You simply double-check that everything is completed and all is well before leaving the house.

I’m not so naïve that I think the foster children will be able to do the routine without assistance; however, I believe that with praise and overlooking a lot, a child can accomplish the tasks needed to get out the door on time with you. This process is for you as much as to teach them the basics of a schedule, getting ready in the morning, the importance of hygiene, and preparing for the day.

A brighter day...

If you can establish simultaneous routines within your home, how much better will the mornings be? It would almost be a miracle to not be responsible for telling each child what to do at each step of the morning. To yell that they are late or give them the feeling that they are lazy. Just ask them what step they are on in the routine and say, “great keep it up”.

If older siblings are finished, they can look out for younger ones and get them on task.

Simple morning routine for a foster family with a girl.

Foster Family Morning Routine: Some things to remember

  1. If the children share a bathroom, remember that they could be on different points during the routine. If one is showering, the other is doing the pet chores and making the bed.

  2. It will take time. My daughter is seven and we are still working the routine. She knows it, but has a difficult time following through. We keep working one it.

  3. If siblings share a room, remember that the times to change clothes needs to be done separately. Don’t give them a chance to argue about whose turn it is to change. Give them privacy. My daughters change in their walk-in closet one at a time. If you need to have them, put clothes on in the bathroom one at a time, do that after they have done hygiene. Establish that they take clean clothes with them in the mornings and they come out of the bathroom completely dressed.

  4. If they won’t comply or they argue with siblings, remind them, since they are grumpy, they may need to go to bed earlier tonight. Start with 15 minutes earlier bedtime.

  5. Lay out breakfast items for them ahead of time. This saves time looking for the perfect item for breakfast. If your school provides breakfast, then perhaps a snack of fruit or granola bar will do. Or the child may be content to wait till school to eat anything.

  6. Make if flexible. If something isn’t working, adjust the morning routine.

If you have tried this out, explain how it helped your morning.

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Impressing Minds is about creating value in the mind of a child through the foster parents. Imagine the mind of a child being made of play-doh, and you are about to make a permanent impression. What type of impression will you make? I will encourage you to make a soft, lasting, affirmative impression in their mind by giving tools to get started fostering, accomplishing a great foster care home, and serving the children in your care. I offer support to you and others fostering. An important element of Impressing Minds is the support that others have given to those in need.


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