Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Creating Routines for a Stress Free Morning
Does this sound like your morning? I hope not but if it does it is not too late to change. Mornings can be the most hectic time of the day but by establishing clear and consistent routines you should be able to get out the door without feeling frazzled.
Here are a few tips:
Start New Routines Before School Starts:
Routines get lax and bedtimes get later in summer. You will want to ease your children back into routines a week to two before school starts. That means slowly pushing back bedtime and getting up earlier.
Do it Before Morning
Do whatever you can the night before. Pack backpack, pick out clothes, make lunches, check homework, sign permission slip, take showers and set the alarm clock. I use to place lunch money in envelopes on the weekend so it was ready for the week. This was a lifesaver when they decided they wanted to buy lunch.
Assign a Place for Everything
Make a place for everything, notes, homework, backpacks etc.. keep everything where it belongs and accessible.
Make a Routine Checklist
Once you have set a routine that works for your family make a visual chart and post it in a central location. This can serve as reminder for them what they need to do and they want forget to do something. Include pictures for preschoolers.
Get Dressed First
Teach kids to dress first. The night before, have them lay their clothes out on the floor, from head to toe so they can be sure they have everything.For young children buy clothes that can put on by themselves. They will be self-reliant and free up your time.
Easy to Fix Breakfast
Have quick, easy to grab breakfast foods available. Cereal, breakfast bars, yogurt, fresh fruit. If you have time for a hot breakfast GREAT but if not you will have food available to grab and go.
Turn on the tunes. Play energetic, get up and go music. It will put everyone in a good mood and get them up and moving.
Get up Earlier
Wake up 15- 30 minutes before the children. This will give you a chance to get ready before they are a wake and then you can focus on them.
Leave it Off
Do not allow the kids to turn on the TV or get on the computer in the morning. These are distractions and will slow them down.
No yelling, raising your voice. The more frazzled you are the more you will upset them and slow the process down. When you are running late it is easy to let the situation get out of control. Give singular instructions in a calm manner to move things along.
Set Consequences and Stick to Them
If you saying you are leaving at 8:00 then stick to it. let them know you will be leaving whether they are ready or not. Sending a 10 year old to school with uncombed hair, no shoe or without breakfast may be just what they need to change their habits.
Remember, a great start for the day will make everyone have better day.