Be On Time to Work and School in 2011

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It’s 7:45 Monday morning. Your 12 year old is wearing a skirt that is sure to get her sent home from school, your 5 year old has his clothes on backwards, your newborn has a dirty diaper, and you all need to get out of the door in 15 minutes. Sound familiar? Chaos is the result of poor planning. Many children respond poorly to being rushed, and adults tend to lose their tempers in an attempt to speed them up.

Soon the entire household is stressed, which is not the best way to start the day. You need a morning routine.

So, how can you establish a routine that is simple enough to stick to and will make your mornings more pleasant for the entire family? Here are some tips and tricks that you can incorporate into your morning routine. Surprisingly, a good morning routine actually starts the night before.

The Night Before

  • Look over your children’s completed homework and check your calendar to see what they needs to take with them to school the next day. Who needs gym clothes? Are any fees due? Make sure each kid has lunch money the night before so that you won’t have to search for correct change at the last minute. Pack all the necessary items into backpacks, and set them by the door with their coats and shoes so that they won’t forget to take them to school.
  • Check the weather report. Will your kids need rain gear? Will they need winter coats or light jackets? Should you set out boots or shoes?
  • Choose all outfits the night before; this avoids morning fights over what to wear. Also, this gives you time to make sure the outfit is complete so that you won’t have to search for the missing sock two minutes before the bus comes. Look over the outfits to be sure they are clean and ready to wear. Iron outfits, if needed, the evening before.

  • Encourage kids to bathe or shower in the evening. This is especially important if you have several family members and only one bathroom.
  • Before bed, decide if you will be sending your kids to school with lunch money or with a packed lunch. Pack their lunches into their favorite lunch boxes, and put them in the refrigerator, ready to go.
  • Put kids to bed at a decent hour. Getting a good night’s sleep is essential in order to feel refreshed and ready to face the day in the morning.

In the Morning

  • Get out of bed first, and get yourself ready while the bathroom is free. This is the hardest step for those of us who usually try to get as much sleep as possible before the little ones drag us out of bed.
  • Kids four years old and over are usually capable of dressing themselves, especially since their outfits have been set out the night before. Parents often continue to dress their children far after their children are physically capable of doing so. Give them a chance to get themselves ready. This will save you time, and give children a sense of responsibility and accomplishment.
  • Delegate the bathroom time. You may consider charting out specific bathroom times for each family member if fighting over the bathroom is a recurring problem in your house. Also, if one child takes a long time primping in the bathroom, consider waking up other children first so that they can get in and out of the bathroom before your little prince or diva. Assist younger kids in washing their hands and faces, brushing their teeth and doing their hair. Check to make sure older children have done those tasks themselves.
  • Get everyone to the breakfast table together. Avoid setting your goal to get out of the door at a certain time, instead set it to have everyone at the table at a certain time. This is a great way to start the day.

Remember, a peaceful and productive morning leads to a smoother day!
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