As the summer winds down and the first day of school approaches, parents everywhere are gearing up for the morning rush. It’s that time of year again when the struggle to get kids out the door on time becomes a daily challenge. No matter how much we prepare, somehow, the mornings always seem chaotic with last-minute scrambles for missing shoes, forgotten lunches, and missing homework assignments.
There’s no magic wand to make these early hours run smoothly, but a few strategies can make a world of difference. From setting effective routines to planning ahead, we’re here to share some effective tips that will help you and your little ones navigate the morning mayhem with ease. Let’s make those hectic mornings a thing of the past and set our children up for a successful day at school.
Designate an Area for All Their Stuff
Get your kids into the habit of putting their supplies, like backpacks, jackets, shoes, etc., into the same spot when they return home from school. This way, there’s no searching for missing items in the morning. You don’t have to have a dedicated mud room for this. Stick-on wall hooks or a chair next to your door will do the trick.
A Family Calendar Works Wonders
Don’t let a doctor’s appointment or a field trip sneak up on you or your children. Put a family calendar on the refrigerator for all to see and update it so you don’t miss a thing.
Create an Inbox
Signatures, signatures, signatures. There are permission slips, report cards, and more to sign throughout the school year. Train your kids to put documents that need your attention to avoid last-minute scrambling in the morning.
Choose Outfits Ahead of Time
Getting your child dressed appropriately is one of the most challenging tasks before school. You can have arguments about clothes the night before and get your child’s outfit laid out and ready for the next day.
Pack Lunch the Night Before
So many tasks can be done ahead of time that will set you up for success. Pack lunch the night before to save more time. Get your kids involved in the process so that you ensure your kid will enjoy lunch at school. Also, this primes kids to pack their own lunches when they are old enough.
Pack Those Packs
After homework is completed, instruct your kids to have their backpacks packed with all the things they will need for the following day. If your kids are old enough to have their own phone, have them charge the phone overnight on their backpacks.
Use Actual Clocks, Not Smartphones
Hang wall clocks around the home, including in the bathroom where your kid gets ready. Also, get an old-school alarm clock. It will reduce the temptation for your kid to scroll on their smartphone in the morning.
This goes hand-in-hand with clocks and alarms. Set a timer so your kid knows they’ve got fifteen minutes to catch the bus or hop in the car. Set it again at the five-minute mark. You can use a wind-up kitchen timer or simply use your phone (or theirs). Just make sure they can hear it when it goes off.
Don’t Be Your Own Worst Enemy
Parents run late, too! Take steps the night before to ensure that you are not the one who is holding the kids up. Program your coffeemaker to have a hot pot ready and waiting when you get up. Have a designated place for your purse, wallet, and keys. Fill up the gas tank on your way home from work so you don’t have to worry about it the next day.
Get Them In the Zone
Don’t allow kids to leave the bedroom or bathroom until they are fully done: dressed, teeth brushed, beds made, and showered. Don’t allow kids to eat breakfast in their pajamas. It means an additional trip to and from the bedroom. Running around the house wastes time.
Don’t Be a Chef
While the urge to cook your kids a stack of pancakes in the morning might be tempting, simplifying breakfast saves so much time. A bowl of cereal, overnight oats, breakfast bars, etc., are your friends. You can even prepare something like a breakfast casserole or big frittata on Sunday that you can microwave and serve throughout the week.
Instead of saying a command like “Put on your shoes,” be more specific. “It’s time to put on your shoes. Do you want the red or white pair?” This encourages kids to make their own decisions and leaves little room for debate.
Mix It Up
Reward your kids in a way that gets them out the door. Let them know they can play their favorite game while waiting for the school bus. “We can stop at the coffee shop for a muffin, but only if we have time” can also work as an incentive.
Stock the Car
If you’re a parent who drops your kids off at school, keep an extra pair of shoes, hair ties, breakfast bars, and more in your backseat. This way, if you’re really in a rush, you can ready your kid for school on-the-go.
Make getting to school on time pay for your kids. If you give allowances, take away a portion for each day that they run late. You can also leverage screen time or assign extra chores as well.
Establish a Routine for You and the Kids
Take the same steps to get ready each day and encourage your children to do the same. You can all go into autopilot mode which streamlines the getting ready for school routine.
A Good Bedtime Is Key
This might seem like common sense to most, but enforcing a bedtime is a great way to ensure that kids wake up on time and are ready to go. A well-rested child is an alert one!
Wake Up Before the Kids
Having a moment to get caffeinated and collected is really important for you to facilitate a get-ready for school morning. Though it might be painful, you can do it!
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Give Plenty of Hugs and Kisses
Now, you have some great tips for getting the kiddos out the door and in school each day. Remember to shower those little ones with love and encourage them to have a productive and fun day!
Remember that the morning rush doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal. With a little planning, consistency, and a dash of fun, getting your kids ready for school can become a smooth and enjoyable process. Use these tips as a starting point and adjust them according to what works best for your family’s unique needs. Remember, the goal is not just to get your kids out the door on time but to also set a positive tone for their day ahead. So here’s to stress-free mornings and successful school days. Happy back-to-school season!
- 1 Designate an Area for All Their Stuff
- 2 A Family Calendar Works Wonders
- 3 Create an Inbox
- 4 Choose Outfits Ahead of Time
- 5 Pack Lunch the Night Before
- 6 Pack Those Packs
- 7 Use Actual Clocks, Not Smartphones
- 8 Set Timers
- 9 Don’t Be Your Own Worst Enemy
- 10 Get Them In the Zone
- 11 Don’t Be a Chef
- 12 Be Direct
- 13 Mix It Up
- 14 Stock the Car
- 15 Consequences
- 16 Establish a Routine for You and the Kids
- 17 A Good Bedtime Is Key
- 18 Wake Up Before the Kids
- 19 Give Plenty of Hugs and Kisses
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