Are you tired of all of the nagging and shouting in the morning that happens as you try to get everyone out the door on time? Mornings do not have to be that way. You and the kids will both be in better moods and under less stress if you find a way to smooth out the morning routine so that everyone can get out of the house on time with minimal drama.
- Make lunches the night before. Keep the lunch boxes in a designated spot and have the kids get into the habit of putting their lunch boxes away every night when they get home. When you bring home food items like grapes, wash and bag them into individual serving sizes so you can grab them quickly. Do the same thing with chips, crackers, pretzels and any other dry snacks. Know what you are going to put in the lunches the night before and put it together in the fridge or on the counter so that in the morning all you have to do is add a freezer pack and toss everything into the lunch box. If you make the lunches the night before then you’ll know if you have run out of something and will be able to run to the store then, instead of realizing that you’re out during the chaos of the morning.
- Lay out clothes ahead of time. It seems that a lot of time in the morning is spent trying to decide what to wear. With your child’s help, lay out an outfit for the next day. Give her small choices like, “Do you want to wear the red shirt or the pink one?” Don’t overwhelm her by giving her a choice of everything in her closet. If she helps you choose the outfit, it should eliminate her not wanting to wear it in the morning. She will be able to get up and get dressed in what is laid out and you may not even need to help.
- Create a routine. Type up a routine and post it on the mirror in the bathroom or some other place that is easy to see. Your kids can look at it to make sure they have done everything they need to do to get ready for school. Include everything, because some kids just can’t remember that they need to brush their hair and their teeth in addition to making their bed and grabbing their homework. After a couple of weeks the kids probably won’t need the routine chart any more, but it’s nice to have it just in case. You may need to add various things at different points throughout the year, like grabbing a coat once it gets cold out.
- Get up earlier. This may seem silly, but sometimes all it takes is an extra 15 minutes to alleviate all of the stress and chaos that ensues in the morning. Make sure that the kids get to bed early enough so that they are well rested when it’s time to get up the next morning. If you have to fight to get your kids out of bed in the morning it is going to take that much longer to get everyone ready to go.
- Keep backpacks on a hook. This doesn’t pertain to just backpacks, though; it’s much easier when everything has its own designated spot. If his shoes are where they are supposed to be there will be no drama because he can’t find them. Make sure that he puts his homework back into his backpack once he’s done so that you don’t have to waste time looking for homework in the morning. Go through the binders or folders the night before to make sure you don’t need to respond to anything. This will also allow you to make sure that all of the homework has been completed and is back in the backpack ready to go to school.
You will not believe the difference in everyone’s mood when you don’t have to rush around in the morning. Everyone will be much calmer, the kids won’t be at each other’s throats, and you won’t be stuck wishing you were already at work. Give these tips a try and see how they work for your family.