Do you struggle getting the kids up and out the door to school every morning? You’re not alone, but here are some tips that can help, writes mother-of-two Jen Vuk.
Recently, I came across a great YouTube clip (see above) that pretty much sums up the morning routine of parents of school-age children everywhere.
Called, suitably, ‘The Struggle Of Getting Kids Up And Out The Door On School Days, In One Hilarious Video’ (“Where are your shoes?”’, and set to a Boyz II Men song, the Holdernesses face comatose kids, tantrums and the ‘endless search for shoes/socks/gloves’.
As Mr Holderness sings: ‘On weekends you’re up at 6 am and on a school day you’re like a zombie and I have to wake you up three times a day and I wanna pull all my hair out.’
Ah yes, as a parent of two school-aged boys, aged eight and five, I know exactly what he means, but there are ways of making the morning routine less stressful for everyone involved.
Make a checklist
Kids respond well to routine and having a checklist has been known to revolutionise parenting. Make sure the list is easy to follow (a picture list works well with younger kids), e.g. ‘put your uniform on, make your bed, get your breakfast’ etc. and not too extensive, i.e. do a few dummy runs to ensure the kids can do what’s asked of them in a suitable timeframe.
The lunch fairy
When you’re trying to wrangle the kids out of their pyjamas and into their uniforms—or making sure they have their breakfast or brush their hair/teeth; or if you have to help them with their shoelaces, make sure they put on their sunscreen (during the warmer months), pack their hats, readers etc.—time can naturally run away from you.
Making lunches the night before takes the pressure off, and that’s a good thing, folks.
Offer an incentive
If the kids manage to tick off their checklist in record time offer them an incentive, such as 10 minutes playing with their toys, watching some television or watching their favourite YouTube video.
Early to bed, easier to rise
Of course, this is easier said than done, but everyone knows that a tired child is an uncooperative child, so it’s imperative that children, especially younger children, get enough sleep. If you’re struggling to get your child into bed, then a bath in the evening can help (often we add bath salts or bubble bath to help soothe them).
Perhaps a warm glass of milk and reading to them or listening to them read is another way to slow them down and get them ready for slumberland.
Stay calm and carry on
If there’s one thing that kids can sniff out it’s a parent on the verge of a nervous breakdown, so try to keep calm. Of course, sometimes things can escalate quickly and, when they do, rather than respond immediately (and perhaps inappropriately) try to remove yourself from the situation. It can help to simply walk away and count down from 60.
A minute here and there won’t make much difference to your time management, but it can miraculously diffuse a volatile situation.
For more tips check out: http://raisingchildren.net.au/articles/school_morning_routines.html