Parenting

The Morning Checklist

Do you feel like mornings with your toddler, child, or tween are a constant struggle in your house? Get them back on track with the Morning Checklist. Scroll down for the free template.


I don’t know what it is about mornings in our house, but we struggle hard. Anna is all about the morning snuggles but when it comes time for literally anything else, she freaks. Bath time is a hard pass. Breakfast is mediocre at best. By the time we have to leave, we’re all frazzled and grumpy and we still have to get through the whole getting dressed and brushing her hair and teeth.

Out of desperation, we tried a simple checklist of all the things she needed to do in the morning.

If she got them done, she unlocked a show on her iPad (something she asks us to do daily). If she didn’t, it was on her and she lost screen time for the day. Much to our surprise, it worked. She felt like a big girl with a clip board and marker and took responsibility for the things she needed to do. And when she didn’t, she would say “I know I don’t get screen time today and that’s okay.”

No fights.

No badgering her to do things a million and one times.

We simply reminded her what she still had left to do and let her take the lead.

Once school ended, we figured we wouldn’t need it anymore. She was in such a good routine and we really didn’t have that much going on until camp started a few weeks later. So we got lazy and just winged it.

It should come as no surprise that when camp started the struggle started right up with it.

After an especially rough morning, I updated her morning checklist, laminated it, and threw it up on the fridge with a special marker just for her. I let Anna give me input about the order she wanted things on her list and then reminded her that she had to check everything off in order to unlock screen time.

You know who’s excited for the morning so that she can do everything on her checklist and get to watch a show? It’s the same person who has been telling her daddy all night about her new checklist and exactly what order she’s going to do everything in.

You know who else is excited for the morning?

ME. Because anything in comparison to this morning’s misery will be an absolute gift.

The Morning Checklist Template (Free Download)

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about parenting (and life, let’s be honest) it’s that our struggles are fairly universal. Meaning, if you’re struggling with something, there are at least 10 other people in the same boat as you at the exact same time. It’s just a matter of opening up about what you’re current reality is.

If you are currently struggling with mornings, parenting, or life in general, please know that you are not alone. Here’s to hoping this tool helps you get your mornings back on track as much as it helps us.

Do you feel like mornings with your toddler, child, or tween are a constant struggle in your house? Get them back on track with the Morning Checklist. (Free download!)

Printing Instructions:

Print in color or black and white on regular printer paper. I recommend printing out 5 copies so that you can try it out for a week. If it works for you, FANTASTIC. I’d suggest laminating so that you can use it over and over again without wasting a ton of paper. You can have it printed out and laminated at a copy center or get a laminator of your own (I use and love this one) and do it yourself.


I’d love to hear how this works for you (good or bad). Make sure to tag me @emilylevenson AND use the #madewithlev hashtag when posting on Instagram.

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