Make Mornings Easy

Beat the daily rush and give your kids more responsibility

By By Parent Coach Lesli Gibbs August 26, 2010

Is the prospect of school starting making you dread mornings and the rush out the door?  Here are 5 simple tips to cut down on the chaos.

1.  Prepare, prepare, prepare!  Take a few minutes the night before to prep for the next day.  Get lunch items ready for quick packing in the morning, make sure all parent forms are taken care of before bed, have your children gather their books and papers and put them away for the next day, etc.  Every step you take the night before makes life a little easier for you in the morning!
2.   Make getting up your child’s responsibility.  If you child is starting kindergarten, they aren’t ready for the alarm to wake them up, and they need mom’s help.  By the time they are in second or third grade, they are old enough to get themselves going in the morning.  Hold them accountable for running late the mornings they are not successful, and they will quickly learn to be “up and at ‘em” on their own!
3.  Choose outfits the night before.  No one wants to battle the 7 year old over her outfit at 6:30 AM!  Make picking the next day’s clothes part of the bedtime routine, and it will make for a smoother exit in the morning.  Picking clothes out ahead of time also prevents those last minute “Mom, my gym shorts are DIRTY, and I need them today” breakdowns that every parent dreads!
4.   Give each child a checklist that they are responsible to complete before heading to school.  “Mom!  I forgot my.....” becomes a thing of the past!  Include items like: Make bed, Wipe down bathroom sink, Place pajamas in your hamper, Check backpack for all homework items, All Parent Forms signed, I have my gym clothes, etc.
5.  Arrange your mornings to have at least ten minutes to sit down together if at all possible.  Choose a book to read together, have a family devotion time, read the paper together, etc.  Taking time to look each other in the eye before going your separate ways will help your family feel closer as the day goes on.
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