One of the great privileges of being a head of school is that I get to be out at car line each day greeting students and their families. I know that on any given day the drive to school can range from wonderful to trying.
A practice I learned a number of years ago was to give myself a way to start each day with a simple and guaranteed "win." I share it with you as something to consider for yourself and for your children. A "win" is something that is in your full control and that you can achieve easily each day. It's also something near the start of your day. For me, that win is making my wife and myself a cup of coffee. I wake up 20 minutes earlier than I need to each day so that it can happen. What it means in the end is that we both get a great cup (happy to exchange my favorite sources of beans with you), and before my day has even begun, I have a winning record, a home run even.
For many of you adults I bet this is making the bed, or taking a hot shower, or working out, or eating breakfast. What I would encourage is to find something with your children that they can win (making the bed is my favorite example), and recognizing it as a win. What it means for your children is that before they even get to school, they are already down the path of winning. It seems simple, perhaps even unimportant, but the research from positive psychology is clear (some helpful links below), it makes a strong, positive difference, and lays down a path for more successes to follow during the rest of the day.
Experiment with it, have fun, and give your child the chance to hit a home run every day.
Some links to get you thinking:
Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being - By Martin E. P. Seligman
video: The happy secret to better work - Shawn Achor