photo: Marina Caprara via flickr

From battles over attire to feuds about food, getting your little (and big) ones up and out the door in the morning can feel like tiptoeing around land mines. When tempers flare, it can not only make it hard to be on time, but also set a bad tone for the rest of the day. Read on to learn the one thing you can do to help mornings go a little smoother.

The short answer, according to experts, can be boiled down to one word: connectivity. Taking a moment to connect with your child and reinforce your loving bond can make a world of difference when it comes to making it through your morning routine without a meltdown.

As Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson, authors of The Whole-Brain Childexplain, connections in the brain that allow adults to function in tasks, like controlling emotions, multitasking, and using logic are still maturing in young children and can take up to twenty years to fully develop. In a study Siegel published in 2001, he found that brain development was linked to social interaction and emotional well-being during childhood. In other words, a strong, positive relationship between parent and child can help a child develop optimal brain connections as they grow.

So how does that help you in the heat of the morning rush? Besides developing cognitive functions in the long run, re-affirming your bond with your child each morning also connects you in the moment. According to clinical psychologist, Dr. Laura Markham, taking just a few minutes in the morning to snuggle up can “fill your child’s cup before the day starts, and reconnect after the separation of the night, which gives your child motivation to cooperate instead of fight with you. This is the best way to prevent morning whining and resistance.”

Have you tried this method to help work ‪through morning stresses? Share your thoughts in the comments.