What’s it like at your house on weekday mornings? Do both the parents and kids leave calm and relaxed, ready for the day? Or, is it a hectic scene with frazzled nerves, lost items, and late departures?
As a parent you can help your child learn how to prepare for a happier morning – or if like me you’re not a morning person at least a morning without rushing. And while you are helping your child learn some skills that will serve her well, perhaps you are also changing some of your own habits.
Start by going to bed earlier. It may take a while for your body to adjust but eventually you will be able to get up at an earlier time and feel alert. Plan on at least 1-1/2 hours for morning preparation. That way there is time to get dressed, have breakfast, and leave the house on schedule.
Precious time can be lost looking for things so involve the family in creating a storage place near the door for all the important “stuff.” Have a hanger and basket for each family member. This becomes the place for keys, school papers, backpacks, purses, letters, etc. Then in the morning it is a quick stop on the way out the door.
Getting kids dressed in the morning has caused more than a few tears and arguments. Head this one off by choosing clothes the night before. Make it part of the bedtime routine. Have your child pick out his clothes for the next day (including underwear and shoes) and lay them out. This works for parents too. I’m always amazed that when I don’t’ do this, I can spend an extra 10 minutes in the morning finding something to wear.
Encourage everyone to help with the morning tasks. Adults and kids can prepare their own lunches if that is needed. Have one of the kids set the breakfast table the night before so that job is already done. Then sit down for 15 minutes and have breakfast. Your family will ready for the day. You might be surprised how good you will feel when you arrive at work, on time, and relaxed knowing the rest of the family is also off to a good start.
What do you do at your home to get the day off to a good start? Do you have any tips to share to help avoid the morning rush?