A Fresh Start

This Dad's Brilliant Morning Routine Hack Put An End To The Chaos

Comedian Chris Distefano figured out how to rise above the chaos and bring his kids along for the ride — for a little time at least.

Originally Published: 
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There is a lot of chaos in raising children. Whether you have one kid or five-plus, trying to juggle everything will inevitably land you in some chaotic crisis that can be easily overwhelming. Comedian Chris Distefano is a dad to three kids, and he recently shared how he has switched up his morning routine to make the weekday mornings far less stressful — and it's brilliant.

In a recent episode of his podcast, Chrissy Chaos, Distefano talked about the “very tough" weekday mornings that come with having three kids and how a shift in how he approaches the chaos by responding with calmness has already made a big difference.

"We got the 12-year-old waking up late; he's going to miss the bus. We got my 8-year-old waking up right on time. She doesn't want to do anything; she doesn't want to do her hair, she doesn't want to eat," he shares. "Then we have the 2-year-old waking up who's just being two. Who's just being crazy, drunk, lunatic person. Just yelling, screaming, wants to be held, wants to be put on the floor, she bites."

That sounds pretty familiar to parents who are juggling a lot of kids. "There's a lot of chaos going on," Distefano says. "We would just start yelling at each other, yelling at the kids, sprinting to the bus, and always negative, sending them out into the world on the bus."

This was his typical routine, and he realized that responding to chaos with chaos isn't likely to get a positive reaction. "I said, hey, let's use these moments of crisis to show the children how you react during a crisis," Distefano sasy. "Because with children, they can't really communicate. Their behavior is the language. How they're behaving is what they're telling you."

With that understanding, instead of looking at what his kids are doing, Distefano said he looks at what could be causing that behavior. "So I'm like, okay, they're behaving in a way that maybe they're hungry, maybe they have to use the bathroom, maybe they're scared 'cause they have a test, whatever."

And focusing on that was a game changer for his family. "In these moments of crisis, [the kids] can't articulate, we can. Let's show them to be calm; let's give them a confidence-boosting activity before they get on the bus," he shared. "My older daughter, I'll have her balance on the curb and have her do it 2 or 3 times. She goes into that bus happy. She a challenge. Make her bed, something. Confidence."

Since making that change, Distefano said the family has been doing great. The mornings are better for everyone, "We're showing the kids that in moments when they're causing a crisis, how you react. And we've been doing so good."

In the end, Distefano admits that it’s not something he can always and consistently do. “For some reason, today, when I woke up,” he says, “I was like f#*& everything I just did last month — I’m going back to the old me.” Well, we’ll give an A for inspiring effort. Tomorrow’s another morning.

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