Sunday, September 19, 2010

Getting Your Kids Ready for School- How To Beat the Morning Madness

Do you ever feel like you are running a race against the clock in the mornings? I know I do, and my daughter only goes to preschool three mornings a week! So many moms I have talked to recently feel like no matter what time they start getting their kids ready for school in the mornings, they are always running late and feeling frazzled.

How can we make the mornings run more smoothly and make the start to school days more peaceful for everyone? Here are some tips below to help manage the morning madness!

1. Do as much as you can the night before.
You can pre-pack your kids’ lunches, lay out their backpacks, and even layout their school clothes the night before school. The more you do ahead of time, the less hectic your mornings will be. If your child is particularly opinionated about what they wear, include them in the decision the night before when laying out their school clothes. Let your child know in advance that changing his or her mind the next morning is not an option.

2. Have a designated place for all “school-related” items, such as backpacks, library books, homework, notes to teachers and lunch boxes.
It will save you time in the morning so you are not scrambling to find what your child needs to take to school that day.

3. Wake up earlier than your kids.
Even if it is just by fifteen minutes, I know the mornings I rise before my kids and have a cup of coffee in solitude, I am more prepared to deal with the hurriedness of the morning time. You won’t feel as frantic and stressed out if you get that alone time. (Remember that kids can sense when you feel stressed out.)

4. Have a morning routine.
Create a morning routine and stick to it. If your kids know they have to brush their teeth, wash their face and make their bed every morning in the same order, they will less likely fight you on it and do it in a more timely manner.

5. If your child is sluggish most mornings, consider moving up their bedtime earlier.
When children constantly drag their feet in the morning and have trouble getting out of bed or sleepwalk through their morning routine, this is a good indication they are not getting enough sleep. Consider moving up your child’s bedtime by 30 minutes for a week and see if it makes a difference in the mornings. Keep moving their bedtime up week by week until you see an improvement in your child’s energy level in the mornings. You’d be surprised by how many children do not get enough sleep at night!

Here’s hoping your mornings become more peaceful and less stressed! Speaking of…I’m off to pack lunch and lay out school clothes!

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