Does your school morning routine start with a grin or a grimace?
Anyone with young children knows how stressful it can be getting the family ready for school. Why is it that there never seems to be enough time to get everything organised?
If a lack of time (and an abundance of frustration and stress) is a regular feature of your school morning, perhaps it’s time you took matters into your own hands and made some positive changes. Trust us, it is possible to have a happy and more peaceful start to the day which will benefit the whole family.
Here are six things you can do:
1. Do your evening prep. The more you do the previous evening, the greater the chance of a stress-free morning. Even something as simple as preparing the bag for school and making sure it’s put in the same spot every time so that it’s ready (and easily found) in the morning, is a huge help.
2. Accept your alarm. Work out how much time is required for your family’s morning routine. Make sure you set aside sufficient time for all the necessary steps (getting dressed, preparing and eating breakfast, cleaning teeth, making snacks or lunchboxes, getting school bags ready etc) and set your alarm. Then be strict about sticking to that wake-up call, otherwise you’ll just be playing catch-up and falling back into old, bad habits.
3. Rock your routine. The three ‘R’s of school might be ‘Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic’, but the fourth ‘R’ for Routine is another really important factor. Think about your school morning routine and write down what tasks need to be done and in what order. It’s a good idea to draw up a plan of your routine, including a note of who is responsible for what tasks and display this somewhere visible such as on the fridge.
Once you’re clear on your routine, you need to follow it consistently and firmly, so that your young family understands the boundaries.
4. Allocate responsibility for activities. As a parent or caregiver, it’s often easier (and quicker) to do things yourself, but kids need to play their part too. Accepting responsibility is an important life skill and it’s really helpful to have a system in place which encourages them to get involved. When things are done repetitively, they become habit - and it won’t take long before your children get used to doing the same thing every morning.
5. Minimise distractions. Procrastination is the thief of time, and if a child is faced with too many distractions (iPad, TV, toys etc), things can unravel quickly. Establish the ground rules (ie no free play or screen time until all the necessary things have been done (getting dressed, breakfast, brushing teeth etc) and stick to that framework. By keeping distractions to a minimum, you give your family the best chance of a peaceful, stress-free start to the day.
6. Be realistic. Many of us set our expectations too high and get stressed out when things don’t go according to plan. Always try and see the funny side of things, keep your sense of humour and don’t sweat the small stuff. If something can wait until later, let it go. The main thing is to establish a routine, explain clearly how things are going to work (visual cues such as picture cards are helpful) and work as a team to start each day on a positive note - but be a bit flexible if necessary.
Some days will always be smoother than others, but however your morning starts, trust that your little one will have a great day at Treasured Tots Early Education Centres! We pride ourselves on providing a ‘home away from home’ where no-one wants to leave and where laughter can be heard and energy felt. Whether you choose Treasured Tots Early Education in Mandurah, Bibra Lake or Fremantle, you’ll find friendly faces and beautiful spaces where creativity and learning are visible.
For more information on our child care centres, please get in touch via our website https://treasuredtots.com.au/ or fill in the online form to book a tour. We’d love to meet you!
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