Let’s be real parents. Getting the kids out the door during the school year can be chaotic. At some point we all fall into a routine of raising our voices and frantically rushing. It’s time to tame the madness. Use our four time-tested tips to keep morning mayhem to a minimum.
TIP 1 - Prep the Day Beforehand
When your child gets home from school have them prepare for the following day right away. Provide your child a simple list of three things they need to do such as pack their lunch, prep their school bag, pick out the next day’s outfit, etc. before allowing them to swing into their evening routine or veg out.
Having your child to get ready for school a day in advance teaches them important lessons in preparedness, priority setting and time management. It also relieves you of the stress and responsibility of doing these things for them at the last minute when they are running late.
TIP 2 - Time Block the Morning
Time blocking is a time-management technique of reserving a segment of time in your day for a certain task. Used by top executives, this technique can be taught to children as young as five.Review your child's morning routine and block tasks into bite-size time chunks of 15 minutes. For example, my children’s morning routine takes 45 minutes and they have 15 minutes to get through each set of tasks.
Time Block 1 (15 Minutes) - Get dressed, brush your teeth & hair, make your bed
Time Block 2 (15 Minutes) - Eat breakfast
Time Block 3 (15 Minutes) - Put on shoes, jacket and backpack and go to bus stop
TOTAL - 45 Minutes
Time-blocking helps children see large tasks as less overwhelming and teaches them to be mindful of time throughout tasks instead of rushing at the end.
TIP 3 - Shift the Clock
It’s time to throw out the credo “never wake a sleeping baby”. Kids look adorable when they are sleeping but don’t let that convince you to give your child 5-10 more minutes of shut-eye and put off the inevitable. Those minutes are the difference between you having a peaceful morning routine or pulling your hair out as they sprint for the bus. If 5-10 minutes of additional sleep are what your childs needs, let it be a sign to shift their bedtime earlier rather than throwing your morning into chaos.
TIP 4 - Morning Priorities Come First
One habit of highly successful people is they do the painful tasks first. If you allow your child to watch TV or play video games in the morning and then scramble at the last minute to get ready for school you are encouraging and teaching them to procrastinate. Set the stage that your child has to be prepared and ready for school before they can kick back. They won’t thank you today but they will when they are in their twenties.
- Rebecca Rescate