Tips for Making School Mornings a Little Less Manic
by Andrea Byrne
Some mornings are so rough with getting the kids ready - I just can't wait to get to work. My daughters each have their own ways to drag the mornings along, making my day just a little bit longer.
Whether they can't get out of bed, need help getting dressed, don't like what I've picked out, they don't want to pick out their own clothes, one looked at the other the wrong way, etc.
Here are some tips I've found that have made this a little less stressful (if there is such a thing):
Try giving your child "snooze button" wake up. Try waking once- enough so they know you are there, come back a few minutes later, and do it again and then again- hopefully third time is a charm and they are ready to get moving with their day. Sometimes I give a nice little back rub to help get them moving.
2. Prepare What to Wear
I'm not sure where my kids got it, but when they pick out their clothes the night before, they lay them out on the ground as they were on display. It's hilarious and helpful. This not only avoids taking up time in the morning to find something to wear, but also the fight our of what to wear.
3. Race for Time
Try to make the morning routine a game. My kids love to compete with one another so a little game of "who can do it the fastest" (getting dressed, eating breakfast, getting on coat and boots, buckling your seat belt, etc.) is always a way to get moving and when that wears off- "who can beat mommy."
If dad is home in the mornings to help, delegate some of the responsibility. If your brushing teeth in the bathroom, have him help with boots and coats. Any little help that you can get to get out the door faster is one step closer to sanity.
And when all else fails...
5. Let Your Kids Deal With The Fallou. If my daughter doesn't pack her homework after I've asked her 3 times, then she gets a lower grade for it being late, If the kids refuse to eat breakfast in the morning or goof off when they should be eating, they have to wait until morning snack to eat. Children need to be responsible for their actions and hopefully the consequences will do just that.
Once you have created a routine and gained a few extra minutes in your day (or at least got out the door in one piece) allow some sanity saving time for you - relax in the bathtub or go for a brisk walk before anyone else get up, take a cup of coffee or tea with you out with you while you let the dog out or (in the summer months) while you water the garden.
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