School mornings can be the most stressful part of the day. Children, especially the younger ones do not understand the concept of time and If anything like my youngest boy, they will deliberately go slow once told to be quick.
I am no expert in parenting nor am I saying I know more than any other parent, But I am hoping that my tips can help someone who is struggling with the morning routine running smoothly. Having three children and one of them being a stubborn morning person, I have been the Mum that screams the house down in the morning. I have been the parent that has sat on the bottom step of the stairs, head in hands and cried. I have been stressed to the max when the youngest just wouldn’t budge and just moved like a sloth to the front door without wearing his coat or shoes. We had months of where we left late every morning for school and I felt like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, looking at my watch every 2 seconds, screaming out that we’re late, we’re late! School morning routines can be stressful but they don’t have to be if you just try to organise your time and prepare.
It’s all about preparing the night before. If you can get as much as possible all set up the night before then there won’t be as much as a rush in the morning.
- If your child has pack lunch for school, most of it can be prepared the night before. I put in packets, juices, fruits and bars into their boxes and leave the yoghurt and any fresh food for the morning. It’s best to out the lunch box together before the children wake up, then you won’t be listening to the moans of them not wanting what you put in. I like to make the sandwiches fresh in the morning but to save time you can make them the night before and store them in the fridge.
- Wake up at least 45 minute before anyone else in the household. This way you get to relax before the tornado hits. Grab a cuppa and a biscuit and chill for 5 minutes. I also like to get dressed before they wake up. Fewer people fighting over the bathroom.
- Place all bags and coats near to the front door. Easy to grab before you leave the house and also means that nothing gets left behind. Line up their school shoes next to the front door too.
- Keep all winter clothes, like scarves and gloves inside he sleeve of the children’s coats. That way there will be no searching for them in the morning.
- Make sure the children’s book bags are looked through as soon as they come home from school. All homework taken out and placed on the table to do straight away. All letters read and signed to be placed back into the book bags ready to be handed in the next day
- Fold up your child’s school uniform, along with underwear and socks ready for the next day, in a pile. I leave ours in the living room, so after they have had their breakfast and had a quick wash they can get dressed in front of me downstairs, then I know there will be no distractions for them in their bedroom.
- A bath/shower is better, for time wise, to have the night before. Just freshen up in the morning with a strip wash from the sink.
- I always put the toothpaste on their toothbrushes as soon as I can. Once I am dressed and ready I prepare their toothbrushes and leave them on the side of the sink. That way I know there won’t be snail trails of bright blue gunk all over the white bathroom suite and I always know if they have brushed their teeth. Children have a tendency to lie about brushing their teeth. I touch the brush head to see if it is wet too. It saves time too as It takes me seconds but leave it to the children and they can be in there for hours
- NO TV. do not have the television on whilst the children are around. They will sit and stare at adverts about incontinence and women’s period rather than get dressed and ready for school. It’s like auto pilot, there not taking anything in of what there watching they just watch for the sake of it.
- Hide all tablets, laptops, console remotes and phones the night before, then there will be no distractions in the morning when a child wants to play on a game or watch something on YouTube.
- Make a note of anything special happening in school on your phone diary or family organiser. I have a calendar up in the kitchen where everyone can see it. On I mark down school trips, class assembly’s, teacher meetings, parents evenings, PE and swimming days and any other special events. I always check the night before and I set the alarm on my phone for a second reminder.
- As soon as the children have woken up and are downstairs they choose their breakfast and sit at the table to eat it. They then have a wash and get dressed. We sometime have a little game on who can get dressed first (makes them go faster), they love a little competition.
- Make up a ‘I Can DO’ chart I had one that had ‘made my bed’ ‘brushed my teeth’ ‘got dressed’ and ‘ate breakfast’ The child can put a star next to the chore that they have finished. You can reward them with a sticker, children love stickers!
The last tip is to always keep your front door keys and phone in your handbag, coat pocket or on the window sill near to the front door. You don’t want to get the children all organised for you to go hunting through the house, just as you are about to exit through the front door. This I have done many times before as I was too occupied in getting the children ready, I have even shut the door without my keys in my pocket. Check, Check, Check! That is my last advice.
Let me know if there is anything that you do for an easy, smooth running morning that I do differently. I am always up for new ideas to help
Thank you for reading