The other day my husband and I both found ourselves booked with international calls from 7:00 - 8:00am . This one hour is without the doubt the busiest of the morning as we get the kids up, make breakfast, remind the kids about the various morning routines, getting dressed, brushing teeth, packing bags, getting our daughter to middle school and the boys off to the bus. I could have changed my call which was with a coaching client in the UK but since I had made a point of asking my client to find a time that best suited her, as part of an exercise to help her to realize the value of her time, it felt wrong for me to ask her to revise her schedule due to a mix-up with mine.
So the night before I asked the kids for their help and just could not get over the amazing result! We had the calmest, most productive, smoothest morning ever and the kids did everything themselves! The night before I had let my daughter know that I would wake her up but that I wouldn't be able to come in and wake her up two, or even three more times, as I usually do, that I would then be on my call so really needed her to heed that first wake-up call and to not need another. I let the boys know that when they came down the cereal and milk would be on the table and they could fix their cereal, I put the toast and tea out for my daughter (she is English by birth and loves to start her day with a cup of tea).
My husband and I came off our calls, the boys were dressed, my nine year old Cole even announced that he had made his bed, all three had had their breakfast and my daughter was ready, pointing at the clock, telling me it was time to go to school (it is normally the other way around.) In that instance I realized that it is good to force independence sometimes for everyone involved. It helped me to realize that the kids are capable of so much more if we just let them demonstrate it. I will be building more of that independence into each morning since it was something that everyone enjoyed.