It’s yet another work day, and there’s that added stress of getting everyone out of the house on time. While it’s best to start the morning with positive vibes, having to frantically shove textbooks into your child’s school bag and constantly yell at him to “hurry up!” definitely isn’t the right way to start the day. If you relate this scenario, don’t worry! Here are some ways you can prevent those anxiety-filled mornings.
Pack Bags The Night Before
Put a stop the usual frantic scramble for textbooks and art materials in the morning by encouraging your kids to pack their bags the night before. Get them accustomed to checking their timetables before packing especially since they have to bring an additional set of uniform to change into on days when they have PE lessons. If their lunch boxes contain food items that do not need to be made fresh in the morning, get them to pack their lunches too. On top of that, ensure that their water bottles have been washed, filled and packed in their bags before they go to bed for a quicker grab-and-go scenario in the morning.
Lay Out Uniforms
Instead of getting accidental burns while rushing to iron uniforms in the morning, simply get your kids to lay out their uniforms the night before so that you know if anything needs ironing in advance. Cultivate the habit of laying out every piece of clothing, including underwear and socks. You may also choose to get them to put their socks in their shoes and place them at the door so that everything is in place for the morning.
Schoolwork & Parent Consent Forms
Check that the little ones have completed their homework and studied for tests the night before to prevent any rushed work, performance anxiety or resistance to going to to school in the morning. Remember to ask for any parent consent forms at night as well. Let your kids know that if they pass it to you while you are rushing them out the door in the morning, the form will go unsigned for that day.
If you drive your kids to school, you may choose to reach out to other parents and arrange a carpool roster, especially if your child’s classmates live around the same area. Settle the specific pick up points with the other parents and let your child know who will be fetching them that day. For example, Aunty Jenny fetches everyone on Monday, Uncle Ben on Tuesday and so on. This way, you’ll only have to do the early morning drop-off one or two days each week!
Buy yourself a bit more time to get ready in the morning by empowering your little ones to fix their own breakfast. Stick to fuss-free options like fruits, cereal and milk. Put the bowls and cereal on lower shelves so that the little ones can reach them and keep the milk and fruits accessible by placing them on the lower half of the fridge.
Go Back in Time
Sounds impossible, we know, but if you just set your child’s alarm clock to show 15 minutes before the actual time, it may spark a greater sense of urgency and get them out of the house a little quicker in the morning. This won’t work if they’ve already caught on though. If that’s the case, simply wake them up 15 mins earlier than usual everyday so that they know that they have 15 minutes buffer time to wake up.
If you have more than one child, you could also assign an in-charge for each day of week. The child in-charge has the responsibility of getting everyone out of the house as quick as possible. This way, the kids will have a better understanding on how their tantrums and slow movement affect your mornings and will, hopefully, start being more cooperative!
Move to the Music
Create a playlist to be played in the morning, tailored to the amount of time your family usually take to get ready. Let your kids know that they should be out the door before the music stops. Try not to change up the playlist too much since the kids will be gauging the amount of time left with the tracks they recognise. That being said, if your kids are sick of the same old music, there’s no harm in switching things up as long as you keep them informed on the sequence of songs on the playlist!
Motivate your kids to get moving in the morning by creating a fun reward system. Set up a chart and award them a sticker for getting out of the house on time without any “I don’t want to go to school” tantrums or nagging from you. These stickers, when accumulated, can be used to redeem small treats like ice cream or a stack of origami paper. These incentives will make the little ones quick on their feet and get them to think twice before throwing a fit, making for a calm and stress-free morning.
If dangling the carrot doesn’t work, let your kids know that their actions have consequences. If they refuse to change into their uniform, warn them that you’ll take them to school in their pyjamas if you have to, and follow through if they continue to insist on staying in their pyjamas. Do pack a set of uniform before you leave though, and offer it to them once you’ve reached the school. At this point, your kids will have no choice but to comply or be embarrassed in front of their friends and teachers.