For parents, school mornings can pack in all the stress of a normal day into just a couple of hours. Here are five ways you can make school mornings easier, leading to happier kids and less-frazzled parents:
Be Strict About Sleep
You almost certainly give your kids a bedtime, but be sure you’re sticking to your own as well. Everyone differs in how much sleep they need, and you know how much is enough. Do yourself a favor by getting to bed on time so you’re less cranky and more able to deal with the hurdles of the morning with ease.
Get a Head Start the Night Before
It’s tempting after a long day of work to put off what you can until the next day. Yet, leaving things for when your brain is still waking up only makes things harder. Make preparations for the next morning, like putting out breakfast bowls and the kids’ clothes, part of your nightly routine. Once dinner, cleaning and homework help are out of the way, you can relax knowing you’ve made the next day as easy as possible.
Make Time for Yourself
Getting up earlier might sound like the last thing you want to do, but even 10 minutes to yourself with coffee and the morning paper can help you relax. With a peaceful mindset, you can then get started on waking up the kids and preparing for the day. A calmer attitude sets you up for the rest of the day.
Incentivise Getting Ready Early
Giving yourself and your kids enough time to get ready is key to avoiding rushing around and getting stressed. It can be difficult for kids to see the benefit of getting to school on time, as they’re usually reluctant to go in the first place. If you offer a small treat for finishing early, like 15 minutes of cartoons before leaving, children often get ready on time by themselves. Even better, make treat time something you share with them, either by watching their shows as well or doing some drawing or playing together.
Give Everything a “Home”
If you’re always scrambling to find the car keys, school bags or shoes, make sure you set places for all these things so you know where they’ll be. Tell your kids it’s important to put everything back in its proper place, and supervise until they make it a habit. You’ll find you spend less time looking for everything and more time enjoying your mornings together and being on time.
With everyone sleepy and thinking of the tasks for the day ahead, mornings with kids can often be the most stressful part of the day. By implementing some structure, planning and fun time into the routine, school mornings can become a lot less stressful and set you and your kids up for a great day ahead.