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The Morning Routine
We are now well into the new academic year 2021/22 however, we understand that getting into a routine can be tough. If you don’t get a sufficient school morning routine in place children back not be able to focus or engage well while at school. Plan and streamline your school morning, and you will have everyone back on track with less stress.
Wake Up Early
When starting a school week, wake up 15 to 20 minutes earlier than you think you need to. As the school week goes on and you and your family become more a-custom to waking up early, you may be able to adjust wake-up times. But having a little extra time is a great cushion for unexpected hiccups every family experiences.
Some parents find that it is helpful for them to get up earlier than their children, especially if they are trying to get out the door to work. Figure out how much interruption-free time you need before your children wake up. For example, do you need morning coffee, make sure to print off that important document for work or plan out your important meeting prep.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with rolling out of bed and waking your children up straight away and getting the day started together. Regardless of what works for your family, a few extra minutes in the morning as you adjust into the school week can be a lifesaver.
Prep the Night before
For a smooth school morning, it can really help to plan and prep ahead. Encourage your children to do the same and do what they can the night before. It’s a good idea before bedtime to make sure lunches are packed, clothes are laid out, breakfast is planned, devices are charging and homework is done.
- One more that sometimes trips parents up is checking for extra necessities or requirements from the school are packed such as cakes for a bake sale etc.
Some families find it is beneficial to have baths and showers in the evenings especially if it helps their children with any anxious or worrisome thoughts and makes them feel calmer and ready for a relaxing transition to bedtime. Consider making this a part of your children’s bedtime routine.
Depending on your child’s age, they may be able to do a lot of the evening activities and tasks on their own. With supervision this promotes vital life skills that your children can learn and develop like time management and independence. Don’t shy away from assigning your children responsibilities when they get home from school!
Learning to Delegate
When children are young, parents often find they are doing everything for them. This can sometimes mean that this habit sticks as they get older. By taking a look at your child’s task, skills and responsibilities in the morning are crucial for moving on to the next step.
- Start practising over the Christmas break or on the weekends first. Teaching new skills on a hectic school morning may not be effective.
If you want your children to take care of a chore that you have previously done for them, like feeding the fog, making their lunch, or getting dressed, spend time teaching these new skills when you’re not rushed.
Don’t try and squeeze these vital lessons into an already busy school morning.
We already know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day! However, it doesn’t have to be an extra pressure on you and your family- plan some easy breakfast meals that you can have on hand on a daily basis for all the family.
Aside from the traditional, cereal and milk or toast make great breakfast options that are easy to grab in a rush. Even make the most of breakfast offered by your child’s school, if this option is offered. The key is that you are not allowing breakfast to become a troublesome fear into getting the day started.
Another way to solve breakfast issues is to ask your kids what they want for breakfast the night before. Some children find it difficult to plan so far in advance, but getting them to start to think about situations and decisions can be helpful. Children will respond much better if they know the night before that you are out of their favourite cereal, rather than when they are still foggy from sleep.
- Make having breakfast every day a priority. Not only will it help nourish your kids, but it gives them a good start for the day and will allow them the energy they need for the school day.
Have a Checklist
Trying to remember everything that needs to be done can be quite challenging. Some families find it useful to develop a checklist for their morning routine. You might want to include such items as:
- Brush hair and teeth
- Wash face
- Get dressed
- Eat breakfast
- Put on shoes
- Grab lunch and devices
- Double-check backpacks
- Use the bathroom
- Turn off lights
Even after children get used to all elements of a morning routine, you may need to double-check to be sure all the tasks have been completed. Some kids like to skip steps, like brushing their teeth.
Sometimes children need a little more motivation to get through their morning routines. Children typically don’t like school, are grumpy in the mornings or are simply slow movers. To keep your mornings from becoming a “battle”, consider developing some incentives for your children to get ready on time.
For instance, some children will be sure they accomplish all their tasks if they are going to be allowed to play a game, read or book or watch television before school. If you plan to motivate your children with these types of rewards, make sure you build in a little extra time so they can enjoy them.
- Having some time to relax before school can be a great way to decompress and may even help facilitate better focus and learning.