As parents, we’ve all experienced those mornings when chaos seems to take over before everyone is even out of bed. Over the past five years, I’ve cracked the code on a single daily ritual that helps me get ahead of chaos with my teens and tweens: a morning devotional.

(What rituals help you start the day off on a positive note with your kids? Share with the tribe in this Facebook discussion.)

My favorite part of our family devo is waking up my kids. In the state between sleep and waking, they seem to be especially receptive to positive messages and affection. I cuddle with them for a few minutes and whisper things I love about them.

After a few minutes, my kids get out of bed and come into the living room. I sit down with them on the couch and quietly ding a set of chimes. By now, we all know this means it’s time for our three deep breaths. This helps us tune into our bodies and get in sync with each other.

We then read from two or three books for about ten minutes each. I usually read from a book about well-being and connection, a book about adventure, and a book about personal growth. (I’ll tell you more about these readings in an upcoming message.)

After our readings, I’ll ding the chimes again, and we will do three more deep breaths together. Then, I’ll invite each person to share something they are thankful for, something they love about another person in our family or an intention they have for the day.

Most mornings after we end, my kids want to stick around to enjoy the calm, loving feeling we’re all sharing together. I need to remind them that our devo is over and they need to get going so they can be on time for school!

As parents, we have only a few years with our teens and tweens before they will move on to their adult lives. Here’s to experiencing all the joy and connection we can with these beautiful humans while we still get to have them in our homes—and to cutting down on morning chaos.


James Ure

President, Williamsburg Learning