School Mornings: How To De-Stress Your Routine And Start The Day Off Right
School mornings can easily turn into complete fiascos. One little thing can throw off the whole morning. Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest emphasize in their new book Minimalist Parenting the importance of having predictable routines to "streamline the rhythm of the school day." “We’ve found that the best getting ready for school routine begins the night before.” The keys to a successful morning launch are to have a plan and to stay calm.
Wake Up Earlier Than Your Kids: Try to get up at least 10 minutes before the kids do. Not only do you deserve some alone time with your coffee, you’ll feel more in control when the action begins.
Encourage Your Kids to Use an Alarm Clock: Get an alarm clock for each of your kids and begin using it, no matter their ages. The sooner kids get used to waking themselves, the easier everyone’s mornings will go.
Say Yes to Breakfast: A good breakfast is a must for a productive school day, and it’s a nice time to connect before everyone goes their separate ways.
Preview the Day With Your Kids: Get in the habit of previewing the day with your kids to remind them about upcoming events and tasks, and to get them in the habit of planning ahead.
Set Time “Signposts:” Try to break the morning routine into its natural “shifts” - for example: breakfast, getting dressed, brushing hair and teeth, heading out the door. The shifts will be unique to your speci?c routine. Next, attach times to each shift, such as “breakfast is ?nished at 8 a.m.” Kids can better pace themselves when they’re aware of their progress through the routine.
End on a High Note: No matter how the morning goes down, try to end with a positive send-off. You’re working on building habits, and there will be good days and bad days.
Excerpted from Christine Koh and Asha Dornfest, Minimalist Parenting Enjoy Modern Family Life More by Doing Less (Bibliomotion, March 2013).