Do you feel like you have run a marathon by 9am every weekday? This is the same for most people that have school-age kids and working outside the home. Here are some tips to de-stress a little in the morning and maybe even get a morning cup of coffee in before you run out to work.
1. Reset the body clock!
Over the summer we all get used to going to bed later and getting up later and the early morning routine falls by the wayside. Here are some ways to reset their body clock.
Do the Math
Calculate the time that they need to get up for school and count backwards nine or so hours. This is the time you should aim to get them to bed for.
Make Getting Up Worth It
For a week or so before school starts try waking them up at school time but open the curtains and turn on the light and let them watch TV or play a video game in bed. This will help their body clock to get back on track for school time.
Don’t force it
Your child will probably be excited and anxious the night before school starts back so don’t force them to go asleep by saying "You have to go to sleep because tomorrow is the first day of school", this will only make them more anxious.
2. Create a ‘School item space’
Create a space where all school related stuff is stored such as school bag, lunch box, arts and crafts, notes etc. An idea is to get a box or container that could hold it all. Put this near the door so it’s easy to grab as they exit and drop into when they enter.
3. Prep the night before
Why wait until the morning to make the lunches and iron the clothes? Everything that doesn’t have to be done in the morning can be done the night before. Try setting a time before bed to get it prepped. Give it a try; you won’t know yourself in the morning with no lunches to make or bags to be packed. Get the kids on board too, by getting their backpacks ready and items in the school item space.
4. Create an activity chart Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, grab their school bag and out the door. You could make or buy a unique time management system which has pictures to organise the morning routine and prompt the kids what to do next. Another idea is to colour code a clock so when the hand gets to certain sections they know they should be brushing their teeth or getting dressed etc.
5. Get dressed first
Getting dressed can sometimes be the biggest problem for the morning stress. Try getting the kids to get dressed first thing in the morning. Maybe even try a fun way of laying the uniform out on the ground.
6. DIY breakfasts
Let the kids make their own breakfasts and give yourself some extra time to get ready. Try leaving the bowls and cereal out the night before so they only have to grab the milk from the fridge. Or if you opt for a healthier option such as fruit salad and yogurt have them ready and accessible on the bottom shelf of the fridge.
7. Let them be in charge
If you have more than one child you could let them take turns being in charge and motivate the others to get out the door on time.
8. Turn on some tunes
Who doesn’t love a few tunes in the morning to get the mood up? You could create a playlist that the kids like and you could even tie those in with the time management system…. When Bruno Mars comes on you should be eating breakfast!
9. Get up earlier
This is probably an obvious one and we all hate doing it but, if you always seem to be caught for time try getting up 10 minutes earlier. You may even start to enjoy getting ready in peace.
10. Be a role model
There is no point telling the kids to prep the night before if you are not going to! Prepare your lunch, clothes etc the night before and if your kids aren’t allowed to skip breakfast… neither are you!
11. Stay calm and connect
You may notice, the more you panic the slower the kids get ready. Research recommends staying calm and if the kids are on a slow go, stop what you're doing and see if a hand on the arm or squatting down to make eye contact can get them moving again.