Beat morning madness - how to get your child ready for school in a flash!
Are school mornings a mad rush trying to get your kids out of the house on time? We give you tips on getting the kiddos ready for school in a flash!
Why do school mornings have to be so chaotic?
School mornings usually involve Mummy running from room to room trying to wake up her kids. The little ones then stagger around half-asleep, looking for missing socks, toothbrushes and school-bags. Every 5 minutes Mummy yells, “Get ready for school, or else…”
With a toddler clinging to her legs, Mummy proceeds to pack lunches, feed the dog and herd everyone out of the house. If Mummy’s lucky, Daddy helps. If she’s not so lucky, Daddy is nowhere to be seen. It’s a miracle if she can have them dressed, fed and in the car at a decent time!
All you mums know how being late even by 5 minutes can make a huge difference to the rest of the day. Little things like teaching your child to get dressed by herself or waking up without being nagged can help immensely in getting out of the house on time.
So how do you achieve speedy school mornings and help your kids get ready for school, without feeling like a wreck by 9am?
Find out how on the next page!
Plan your morning routine
Get your child involved in planning out a morning routine. You could even make a picture chart showing the sequence of what has to be done in the morning (e.g. washing, dressing, eating breakfast etc).
Get everyone to bed as early as possible
Kids need an average of 8-10 hours of sleep. Ensure they get this and cut out after-dinner TV time etc. Have a sleep-inducing routine for them, which could include a warm bath after dinner, story and lights-out. Once they get into the habit of sleeping and waking up at a certain time, their body-clocks will remember this and eventually, they will wake up at whatever time you need them to, without you having to nag them to get out of bed.
Talking about going to bed on time — parents, this includes you too! If you are able to get up earlier than your kids, you will be able to better organise your morning by taking care of your own needs before your kids wake up.
Prepare the night before
Ever been in a situation where you’ve been rushing around madly in the morning, trying to find your child’s lost sock or shoe? Eliminate the need for this by getting prepared the night before. Show your child how to pack his schoolbag with everything he needs for the day. This should be done in the night and you could include it in his evening routine (perhaps after dinner).
Iron and set out your child’s clothes, including socks and shoes. If you are packing sandwiches for your child’s lunch the next day, ensure the previous night that everything needed to make them is there in the fridge.
Make dressing fun
If you have several kids, make dressing up into a game. You can have a race to see who will dress the fastest, or ‘follow the leader’. Give the ‘winner’ a small treat.
With smaller kids, make up a ‘dressing’ song, for example, “This is the way we put on our shirt, put on our dress etc”.
If you have a girl with long hair, brush and braid her hair the night before to minimise tangles in the morning. Teach your toddler things like raising her arms to help you put her t-shirt on, and by the time she’s ready for preschool/school, she’ll be a pro at dressing herself!
Get an alarm clock
Kids love receiving gifts, so why not gift your little sleepy-head an alarm clock to help him wake up on time?
If you have more than one kid, stagger waking times. Set the alarm earlier for your younger child who may need a little more help in the morning, and slightly later for whoever gets ready the fastest.
Have a ‘snatch-and-go’ point
Place your morning essentials like car keys, mobile phone, purse etc on a table, ideally near the front door, so you can literally snatch them and leave in the morning and not have to waste precious time looking for them.
Encourage, praise and reward
If your kids manage to get out of the door on time for a week, reward them on the weekend by doing something fun with them, such as going to see a movie or going on a picnic.
With patience and perseverance, you should soon be able to put an end to those crazy school mornings. We hope the information in this article helps you encourage your kids to get ready for school without any more tears and tantrums!
How do you help your kids get ready for school? Share your tips with us by leaving a comment.