11-Year-Old Asher and Debbie on the Importance of Morning Routines

gender nonconformity kids

​In this special kid’s POV edition, I share a short conversation with my 11-year-old child Asher about the new morning routine we began doing in January 2016. The routine is based on author and speaker Hal Elrod’s book The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM). Because I’m always looking for ways to support Asher in developing more self-awareness, we agreed to start off the New Year trying out a new routine.

In this episode, Asher walks listeners through what the new 6-step morning routine — consisting of meditation, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and journaling—looks like, and explains its impact, as well as why Asher thinks other kids would benefit.


About Debbie & Asher

Debbie Ash MiniDebbie Reber is the founder and CEO of Tilt Parenting and the host of the Tilt Parenting Podcast. 11-year-old Asher is Debbie’s child and is regularly featured on the podcast. Find out more about Debbie and Asher by visiting the About Page.



Things you’ll learn from this episode

  • How implementing a purposeful morning routine such as the one highlighted in Hal Elrod’s book The Miracle Morning has the potential to positively impact a child’s day
  • The benefits for children on beginning each day by focusing on presence, positivity, and intention
  • Asher’s thoughts on whether other kids could benefit from a new morning routine
  • How meaningful a change can be when a child is self-motivated by their own personal discoveries about the benefits of a new habit


Resources Mentioned for Morning Routines



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Episode Transcript

Debbie Reber  00:00

Do you want to kind of explain, summarize what it is,

Asher  00:04

it’s where you do a certain, some certain activities in the morning like meditation and reading and exercise, and visualization and affirmation, and, and that’s it, and you and you do them in the morning and you get to choose how you do them. And then basically the effect is to actually make you a better person and well, it has certainly helped me be less grumpy.

Debbie Reber  00:34

I really think it has ,Yes.

Asher  00:38

The day when I didn’t do the Miracle Morning and woke up really early. What happened I was really really grumbling

Debbie Reber  00:47

Welcome to the Tilt Parenting podcast, a podcast featuring interviews and conversations aimed at inspiring and forming and supporting parents raising differently wired kids. I’m your host Debbie Reber and today’s episode features another short conversation with my 11 year old son Asher. Today we’re going to tell you about our special morning routine, a new six step routine we’ve been doing since January, in the hope that it would help our days be more productive, happy, energetic and focused. And spoiler alert, it’s working. To learn more about this podcast and tilt the revolution for parents raising a typical kids visit tilt parenting.com. Last summer, I listened to an episode of Pat Flynn’s awesome podcast Smart Passive Income. And Pat was following up on an interview he done with author and speaker how Elrod who wrote the book, The Miracle Morning, the not so obvious secret guaranteed to transform your life before 8am. The book outlines a simple morning routine that Pat said had totally transformed his life. And because I’m someone who’s always looking for ways to make the most out of each day, I was inspired to check it out for myself. I talked to Asher about it back in August. And before we got our school year started and asked if he would be willing to give it a try with me. And he said, Sure. And as a side note, I am always looking for tools to share with Asher that can help him more consciously go about his day, I consider this a huge part of helping him develop his executive functioning skills. And therefore it’s actually a major focus of how I approach our time in homeschool. So when I first mentioned it to Asher, I could tell he was open, but not super enthusiastic. So I decided we should start out slowly. We had read a book called the Miracle Morning by how Elrod and you were kind of resistant to the idea of doing it initially.

Asher  02:42

Oh, what me? I would never do such a thing.

Debbie Reber  02:46

But so we kind of broke it down. We took the whole fall to read the book, usually like one chapter a week or maybe two times a week. What is that?

Asher  02:59

The fall. The whole fall….

Debbie Reber  03:02

Thank you for that. Anyhoodles, so we took the fall to read it. But then we had kind of a goal of starting the new year with some sort of morning routine. But we wanted to make sure that it worked for us. So how did we do that?

Asher  03:20

Well, we customized it, we found out what we tried and thought of what worked best and based on our past experiences, and also what sounded good to us.

Debbie Reber  03:31

So briefly, the Miracle Morning is based on the idea that when you consciously start your day doing activities that reinforce what you want to be creating and doing in your life, then you’ll be much more likely to achieve those things. In reading through the book. A lot of it’s geared toward inspiring adults to have more fulfilling lives and jobs and so on Asher feels pretty fulfilled already. And He clearly doesn’t have a job. So in our discussions about the book, we focused on the notion of being more purposeful and achieving our goals. I know he has a lot of goals he’s working towards, most of which at this particular moment are related to successfully completing certain missions in the video game Kerbal Space Program. So he was up for giving it a try. And I didn’t really care what his goals were, I just wanted to see how starting off each day with a morning routine that is about presence and positivity and intention would impact Asher so in my book, it was a win win. Do you want to kind of explain, summarize what it is.

Asher  04:30

It’s where you do certain activities in the morning like meditation and reading and exercise and visualization and affirmation and that’s it. And you and you do them in the morning and you get to choose how you do them. And then basically the effect is to actually make you a better person and well, it is certainly helped me be the Less grumpy.

Debbie Reber  05:01

Really think it has?

Asher  05:03

Yes. The day when I didn’t do the Miracle Morning and woke up really early,

Debbie Reber  05:08

what happened?

Asher  05:09

I was really, really grumbling.

Debbie Reber  05:16

So alright, well, let’s go back. Let’s take a step back for a minute. Would you kind of share with us what your morning routine looks like? Like, what all the steps are?

Asher  05:27

Yeah, well, I’ll start with a one minute meditation. It sounds a little like this for a minute, and then we do some affirmations.

Debbie Reber  05:46

What is an affirmation?

Asher  05:48

It’s one you make statements about yourself? Like, are coldly not arrogant. I’m like the humblest person in the whole universe. And eventually, if you believe those things, they actually make you the humblest person in the entire universe.

Debbie Reber  06:06

Is that what your affirmation is? I’m the humblest person in the universe? 

Asher  06:10

No, no it’s not. 

Debbie Reber  06:11

Okay, that was just an example. Yeah. Okay. All right. So you said there is meditation, then affirmation? What else do you do?

Asher  06:20

And then we do some visualization, which is my favorite for five whole minutes, oh, five minutes!

Debbie Reber  06:30

What is visualization for you?

Asher  06:32

It’s when you it’s when I sort of zone out and just visualize things and just visualize things that I’m going to do. And them going successfully. And then I look at you, oh, well, wait, how does that work? And then I apply that in my actual day.

Debbie Reber  06:52

Cool. All right. So what comes after visualization? 

Asher  06:57

Well, then we have some exercise. That’s where we do jumping jacks, like this. 

Debbie Reber  07:08

Those are not jumping jacks. They’re hand flaps!

Asher  07:12

Well, they sound the same. Like that, except with more jumping jacks.

Debbie Reber  07:26

So what happens after the exercise, then we do a bit of reading? 

Asher  07:30

Well, I will say a bit. I really take like 20 minutes.

Debbie Reber  07:35

What are you reading?

Asher  07:36

Well, you know, stuff like, you know, books about quantum physics. 

Debbie Reber  07:41

So it’s light, reading…

Asher  07:42

Normal reading.

Debbie Reber  07:46

And then after reading, what’s, what’s next,

Asher  07:49

then we do a bit of journaling. That’s sort of the hardest part for me. But then at the end, it goes well. 

Debbie Reber  07:57

What is your journaling entail? 

Asher  07:59

It entails what I plan to do for the day.

Debbie Reber  08:02

Why do you think it is the hardest part for you?

Asher  08:04

Because it’s really hard to think of things to write about.

Debbie Reber  08:09

And that’s the whole thing, our morning routine. One minute of meditation for Asher, which basically looks like him sitting on his bed with his eyes closed and breathing deeply. Then he reads his affirmations out loud. He has several different ones and they’re written down on a sheet of paper he likes to keep in his bedroom. Next, he comes into bed with me where we do our visualization together. Right now, our visualization consists of listening to anywhere from one to three songs. Our music list right now is Enya, Badly Drawn Boy, and Charles Atlas. And we lie side by side with our eyes closed imagining what could be after that is exercise, which right now, as you heard, or some sort of twisted version of jumping jacks, next reading, which we often do again, while laying in bed together, and then journaling. And while at first journaling was a really hard one for Asher, it’s actually become one of his favorites. And he’s using that time to plan his goals for the day, and doodle these technical drawings of what he wants to build in Kerbal Space Program. It’s his way of visual problem solving. 

Debbie Reber  09:14

I’d like to know if you could describe to us beyond just not being as grumpy or grumbly. Like, can you give us some examples of how you feel doing the Miracle Morning has positively impacted you?

Asher  09:29

Not really. I just feel nicer. And my day, and I often do the things that I visualize doing. It’s not like all of a sudden, my days are 900% better. Right? It’s like they’re a bit better. They’re better than normal. That’s it.

Debbie Reber  09:57

Do you feel like taking the time to do your meditation and your visualization and your affirmations and all that stuff. Do you feel like it’s you said, you’re kind of in a bit of a better mood? Do you feel like it’s also helping you stay more focused? Or have your days kind of go more the way that you want them to go? 

Asher  10:19


Debbie Reber  10:21

So do you think that people listening to this podcast, you have kids who might be wired in a way similar to you? Maybe they have ADHD? Maybe they have other things going on that either make them feel distracted? Or make some aspect of getting through the day kind of challenging? Do you think this is something that could work for other kids? Or do you think this is unique to you?

Asher  10:41

For sure, for other kids?

Debbie Reber  10:45


Asher  10:46

Because I mean, you’re doing it and you’re not even a kid.

Debbie Reber  10:52

This is true. Why do you think other kids would benefit from it? Kids your age? Do you think other kids would be into this? 

Asher  11:00

I think, Well, yeah. It’s sort of fun. To get to imagine your day going perfectly and everything working.

Debbie Reber  11:11

What do you think a parent who wants to encourage their child to do this, Or thinks it’d be a good thing for them? What could they say to make it sound more interesting? Because I know that you had some resistance to this whole idea at first. But you were willing to give it a try. You totally had an open mind, which is awesome. But what would you say is something that could help other kids get that it’s like a really helpful thing and could be beneficial.

Asher  11:44

Well they do have a thing that explains the basics of forming a new habit, right, that says that it starts really bad, and then it gets easier and easier and easier. And then you become completely used to it. It’s a habit.

Debbie Reber  12:05

So you feel like that’s what we’re doing now is forming a new habit. 

Asher  12:09


Debbie Reber  12:11

I’m happy to say that we’re still doing our morning routine. It’s been three months at this point. And even on Saturday mornings, when I get up early to go for a run with my running group. Asher does routine all by himself. And days things don’t go well, he often attributes it to not doing his routine in the morning, he sometimes takes Sunday off. I love that he’s forming this habit and developing the discipline to follow a routine that can have positive side effects, but even more so that he is noticing the positive side effects himself and therefore is motivated to keep going. 

Debbie Reber  12:47

You think if we check in on this podcast, six months from now, we’ll still be doing the Miracle Morning.

Asher  12:53


Debbie Reber  12:55


Asher  12:56


Debbie Reber  12:58

I hope you’re right.

Asher  12:59

Me too. In six months, I’ll probably be all the way to Elu in Kerbal Space Program. I’ll be so much farther ahead of the current space program. They should learn something from those parables.

Debbie Reber  13:20

Thanks so much for listening to this episode of TheTilt Parenting podcast. Visit tilt parenting.com/podcast for a list of all the podcast episodes, and for the show notes for this episode, including a link to Hal Elrod book The Miracle Morning the not so obvious secret guaranteed to transform your life before 8am and other notes from this, you can go to www.tiltparenting.com/session9. Lastly, if you liked this episode, I would be grateful if you could visit iTunes and leave a review and subscribe to our podcast. Getting reviews and subscribers is the best way for us to grow and connect with our audience of parents raising differently wired kids. Thanks again for tuning in. And for more information on the tilt revolution. To sign up for our community and learn more visit tilt parenting.com


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