With my youngest child starting school this year, I will be getting 3 young kids ready to go each morning, and I know how challenging that can be! Years ago, when my oldest son was in public school, I developed some rules and techniques for making sure our mornings ran smoothly and we started our days off on a positive note. I know all children are different, so what works for us may not work for you, but here are the tips and tricks that I have found beneficial for us.
- Have the kids set out their clothes the night before
- Help them get everything they need into their backpacks the night before
- Get lunch bags ready as much as you can the night before, and ensure that you have on hand everything else you need
- Get up before the kids and put a pot of coffee on…then get yourself ready, so you don’t have to worry about your own needs while the kids need assistance
- Wake the children at a time that allows them plenty of extra time in case they have delays
- Have a regular morning routine for each child (eg. eat, brush teeth, get dressed, brush hair, put lunch in backpack, put shoes on, wait to leave) that is consistent each day
- Praise them for each step that they complete so they want to do it again the next day
- Kiss, hug and tell them you love them either at home (for older kids) or at school every day
- Allow the television or video games to be turned on in the mornings
- Let them sleep in late because they seem tired…they will then have to rush and have a rough start to the day
- Expect them to do each step without reminders
- Yell or get angry at them for not getting ready. You don’t want them going to school feeling anxious or upset.
We all have rough mornings sometimes, but I find by doing the preparations ahead of time and having clear and consistent expectations, most school mornings are manageable and everyone gets where they need to go on time.