One of the most difficult aspects of raising children that parents often struggle with is the morning routine of getting kids up and ready for the day. If you have kids that are of school-age then you are aware of how hectic and maddening the morning routine can be. Things become even more stressful when you work outside the home and must get ready yourself and make it to work on time as well.
However, there are a number of ways to simplify your morning routine to reduce stress and preserve your sanity. Getting everyone up and out the door successfully can be made easier by following some of these helpful tips:
- Stagger kids’ wake-up times
- Organize clothes and outfits the night before
- Pack children’s lunches the previous night
- Provide a grab-and-go style breakfast
- Offer weekend rewards
Let’s look at each one individually.
Stagger Kids’ Wake-Up Times
First, you should consider staggering your children’s wake-up times.
If you have more than one kid, staggering wake-up times can be a great way to expedite your morning routine. Start by waking up the child who requires the most assistance first as they will take the longest to get up. As you continue to help them, you can start to wake up other children who don’t take as long or need as much help to get up.
You can further speed up this process by providing kids with their own alarm clocks. Often, children will view having their own alarm clock as a privilege and you can remove that privilege if they continuously ignore their alarm clock. Either way, if you do give your kids alarm clocks it is still a good idea to still check on them and provide yourself as a backup alarm.
Also, keep in mind that it’s always a good idea to get up and get ready yourself before waking up any of your kids. This way you are already prepared in case anything falls behind schedule and you can give yourself some extra time if everything runs smoothly!
Organize Clothes and Outfits the Night Before
Another way to reduce some of the madness during the morning is to organize clothes and outfits the night before.
One option is to put a hanging hook on your child’s bedroom or closet door where they can hang up their clothes for the next day. This makes it easy for each kid to wake up, grab the clothes already hanging on their door and get dressed quickly.
You can include your kids in the decision process so they feel like they get to wear what they want, but just enforce a rule that outfits must be finalized before bedtime. It’s possible to plan outfits for the entire week, but due to weather and other fluctuating circumstances it is typically best to just plan day-by-day.
Pack Children’s Lunches the Previous Night
Another way to save some time in the morning is by packing lunches the previous night.
Just like with outfits, lunches can be planned ahead of time and packed the night before. However, unlike outfit decisions, lunch plans can be made for the entire week quite easily. Again, you can include your kids in the decision process and have them help pick out what they want to eat throughout the week. However, make sure to guide them towards more healthy choices and offset any snack food with nutritious options.
Provide a Grab-and-Go Style Breakfast
Another great way to increase your efficiency in the morning is to provide a grab-and-go style breakfast for everyone.
Breakfast can often be one of the most stressful and time-consuming portions of the whole morning routine. Take some of the stress out of breakfast by setting creating a grab-and-go style setting.
Offer various options such as – yogurt, oatmeal cups, cold cereals, etc. so people can simply help themselves. You can even try out a more DIY type of breakfast where kids can make their own breakfasts by using the various options you provide. Of course, the DIY option certainly works better for older children that are more independent.
Offer weekend Rewards
Finally, consider offering some sort of weekend rewards.
Offer some incentives to your kids for successfully following your morning routine during the week. For example, they can have more TV time on the weekend if they effectively follow your routine and are on-time throughout the week.
Not only will this encourage your children to stick to the routine during the week, it will also further impart in them the values of establishing an efficient morning routine.
The mornings before school and work can often be the most hectic and stressful times for parents. Getting yourself up and ready can be hard enough, let alone with multiple kids. However, by following the tips and techniques outlined within this article you can relieve some of the stress and reduce the madness of the morning routine.
Bio: Roxy Barnes is a budding professional organizer with a knack for organizing other’s lives stemming from an ongoing battle in coordinating her own. She has a weakness for the latest fashion trends that manifests itself in a closet containing far too many shoes. Oh, by the way, has anyone seen her keys?