Can getting off to school and work in the morning really be a breeze? Can you see your family going out the door calmly, not forgetting anything, not being late for the bus, and you being able to start your own day feeling organized and on top of things? It’s not just possible, it can be a reality.
When school starts again after a summer of fun and relaxation, kids need to be gently eased back into the routine they’ll need to avoid morning meltdowns, forgotten homework and lunches and late arrival at school. Here are some tips to help make it happen:
1.Somewhere in the last week or two of vacation, you need to start them to bed earlier and also gradually begin to get them up at an earlier hour. By the first day of school, they can be on their school schedule and ready to go.
- Explain why the schedule is changing and give reasons they’ll understand.
- Buy an alarm clock and teach them how to set it. They’ll love to be in charge of getting up instead of having you waking them.
- Make sure that all tech devices are put away for the night. You can charge them under your bed or store them in a place of your choosing.
- Be consistent in following the bedtime routine. Proper sleep is a basic need for the kids – and for you!
2. Prepare for morning by spending time getting ready the night before.
- Check backpacks with the kids to make sure any paperwork such as permission slips has been signed and books and homework have been packed.
- Discuss what clothes the kids want to wear and make sure they’re laid out and ready for wearing.
- Make lunches the night before. Encourage the kids to help and eventually they can make their own lunches before going to bed. They’ll eat better if they have a say in what is in the lunchbox.
- Set the table for breakfast, putting all non-perishable breakfast food on the table, ready to eat.
3. Set an example and be as “up” as possible. Kids are affected by your moods and if you’re cranky, they’re more likely to be as well.
- Encourage your kids by making positive comments on their dress, hair etc.
- Refrain from teaching manners and correcting behavior at the breakfast table (and at any meal!). You can be respectful by teaching and training privately. Think how you don’t like to be criticized, and realize the kids hate it too.
- Send them off with a hug and a kiss. Tell them you love them. How good that feels for everyone!
Mornings can be bedlam if not properly organized and prepared for. Yes, it takes time to schedule and it’s a big commitment to keep to the routine, but you’ll find that everyone leaves the house ready to take on the day without feeling panicky, arguing and rushing. Kids feel secure when there are limits and routines in place. And you’ll heave a sigh of relief as you benefit from the calm atmosphere they leave behind when the door finally closes.
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