The usual scenario, you’re running just a bit late which puts you on edge. Your kids are being recalcitrant, they don’t want to get dressed/eat breakfast/get their shoes on. You ask them, talk to them, get louder, eventually yell at them and it all turns into an ugly morning scene, just trying to get to school/kinder/child care in the morning. Well, here are some tips that I use to make the whole thing a bit more calm.
Firstly, the night before. I know you’ve heard it all before, but it really works. Get their clothes ready in piles for each child (older ones can find their own the night before and lay them out). Make their school lunches the night before and put in the fridge.
I also have a checklist that the kids can follow so they can help – words for the ones that can read and pictures for the ones that can’t read. I have laminated them so we can wipe off ready for each day. A bit like this:
I find my day is miles better if I can get up before the kids and be showered by the time they’re out of bed. Of course not everyone can do this as their children get up too early, but if you can, it’s a great way to start your day. Then, really it’s up, dressed and fed you have to worry about.
I started out my child rearing life by banning tv in the mornings. Absolutely NO TV under any circumstances. Now, I have changed my tact in the name of sanity. IF and only IF they get dressed (including shoes) and eat their breakfast and bring me their school and kinder bags AND there is still time before we have to leave, then they can watch TV for a bit. This often means that then I have time for breakfast and before we go too. I have also been known to turn the TV on, just so I can threaten to turn it off!
If I get into a fuss, then I have no qualms about taking my youngest to child care in his pyjama’s with his breakfast in hand. I figure they are a ‘child care’, and therefore are there to look after the child. If they have to get them dressed for you, then that’s part of the job.
Another thing we do is have all of our shoes in the one place. My house is not organised or spotless by any means, but we have a shoe box and when they come off, that’s where they go. A lot of time used to be spent in the morning looking for shoes. It’s so much easier when they are all there in one spot.
So, it’s a bit of bribery with TV, a bit of sensible not pushing the little ones too much and a bit of expectation of the older kids the night before, and it seems to work. Give it a go! Is the world going to end if you’re 5 minutes late for school? I think not.