Morning routines are one of the first big hurdles that families have to tackle each day. It's like a race where the kids have to be dressed, tummies filled, and then off to school with backpacks in hand in record time! Afterwards, your house can look like it's been hit by a hurricane, with clothes on the floor, hair accessories everywhere, and breakfast on the floor.
Getting through your morning routines with less chaos takes ingenuity, but you can start by creating an environment that teaches your child to take responsibility for her own morning routine. Not only will this ease some of your own stress, it will also teach your child more independence, and help her feel better about herself.
The key is to remember that your child is the one responsible for her tasks. If you keep doing them for her, she will get used to relying on you for everything and think that she doesn't have to do it herself. It's all about teaching her to be independent and take responsibility. Mornings can be manageable and enjoyable, and here are some things to consider:
What time does your child need to be out the door to get to school on time?
What things does she need to do from the time she wakes up until she walks out the door? How much time does each thing take? Make sure you give her enough time to accomplish everything.
Why not make a list of the things that need to be done in the order they are to be completed? Perhaps If she sees them in words or illustrations, it will be easier for her to follow them. Place the list somewhere she can easily see it. For example:
1. Getting dressed - It will be quicker if you help her prepare what she will be wearing tomorrow.
2. Brush hair and style with her favorite headband
. It's quick and yet still stylish, plus it does a good job of keeping her hair away from her face.
3. Eat breakfast.
4. Take medicine, if needed.
5. Brush teeth.
If she has time to spare, allow her to engage in an activity that she enjoys.
Tell her to check off the tasks on the list once they're completed. If she's very young, check them off together.
Remember to give your child praise when she finishes a task. To motivate her, you can say 'Two more tasks to go and you get to watch TV!'
Walk out the door on time, even when your child only gets part of the list done! This is very likely to happen on the first few tries, since the two of you are not yet used to the timing. But this does not mean that it's okay for her to be late for school. She may have to leave the house without breakfast or with mismatched hair clips.
After some trial and error, you will eventually perfect your morning routine with a little less chaos. Planning and patience are key. You may need to make adjustments if it turns out one task really takes longer and needs more time than the rest. If it seems like nothing is working, remember, change takes time.
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