How to get kids ready for schools – Read this 5 tips!

School mornings are probably the roughest times for parents and kids. I know that after the all my kids have walked out the door, I breathe a sigh of relief. I take a Zen moment to relish the quiet and calm.

As hectic as it is now in my home, it used to be a lot worse. I spent a lot of mornings, tense, yelling, and beseeching (quite pathetically) my kids to get out of bed.

It took a lot of patience and a lot organizing to help make the mornings calmer and more positive.

Crazy Mornings with Kids

photo credit: hoefi

Here are 5 strategies that helped transform our mornings from a frenetic pace to something, not exactly perfect, but a lot more calm:

1. Maintain a regular schedule:

Kids do better when they have a regular routine. Bedtime is decided with my kids input and then it is enforced. I don’t allow to much wiggle room around my kids sleep schedule. They might fight me on it but everyone is a lot happier and less whiny when they have gotten the sleep that they need.

I know that just because I am the parent it does not mean I can go to sleep whenever I want. I try to get the sleep that I need so that I have the energy to manage the mornings.

2. Be Positive:

I know it is tough to be cheerful in the morning, but it makes all the difference in the world.

Would you like to be woken up like this:

“Time to get up! You better not be late again! What is taking you so long?”

Or like this:

“Good morning kiddo, It’s 7:05 and it is sunny! Can’t wait to see you at breakfast! Your favorite pants are cleaned and ready for you to wear!

3. Don’t get mad:

I get pretty frustrated when my kids are not getting out of bed like they are supposed to. To help keep my cool, I try to put myself in their shoes. If I don’t like getting out of bed in the morning, how can I expect them to just jump right out of bed. It helps me be more compassionate instead of angry.

Instead of yelling:

“Just get out of bed already!

I try to say:

“Looks like you are having one of those mornings. It can be a real challenge to get out of bed. Let me know if you need my help.”

4. Make them think:

I know that I need at least 10 minutes to relax and I open the shade so I can see the sun, before I actually pull myself out of bed. Everyone has their little tricks that they use to get themselves going. I try to help my kids think of what can work for them. These are some of the questions I ask them:

  • “What will help you get out of bed?”
  • “Do you want the light on, will that help you wake up?”
  • “Do you want me to just leave your door open so you can hear a little bit of noise. Do you think that could help?”
  • “Would you like the window open, maybe some fresh air will help?”
  • “Sometimes a shower does the trick. What do you think?”

It could be that your child rejects all your suggestions. But, maybe, someday down the line they will remember these ideas and will have some strategies that will help them have an easier time getting out of bed in the morning.

5. Help them be responsible for their schedule:

Many parents put themselves in charge of their child’s schedule but kids want to have some control over their time. They like to make their own decisions. I try to work out a schedule with my kids input. To do that, I would ask:

“What do you think would be a good time for you to wake up in the morning?”
“How much time do you think you need in order to get out of bed, get dressed, eat breakfast and walk to the bus? Once you figure it out, you can work out a good schedule for yourself or we can do it together. Let me know.”

If the schedule that you have both decided on is not working, you can always say:

“I know you have been having trouble getting out of bed in the morning. What do you think you need to do in order to make it easier for you?”

Mornings with kids can be a real hassle. Having a set schedule, working together with your kids by asking the right questions and fostering responsibility in your child can really help. I know it was a lifesaver for me.

Adina Soclof, a certified Speech Pathologist, received her masters degree from Hunter College in New York in Communication Sciences. She works as a Parent Educator for Bellefaire Jewish Children’s Bureau. Adina also conducts parenting, teacher and clinician workshops via telephone nationwide. You can visit her website at www.ParentingSimply.com.

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