School mornings are hectic in my household. As soon as the alarm hits, my feet touch the ground and I begin the task of charting every moment so that my daughter reaches school on time.
There are ways that parents can avoid the mad rush, yelling and general hectic atmosphere of mornings.
Try these five ideas to create a peaceful morning before school:
1. Prepare the Evening Before
In order for the mornings to move more smoothly, I always try to prepare the night before. I pack my daughter’s lunch at the end of the evening. She makes suggestions of what she wants included in her lunch and helps put it together. We lay out her clothes for the next day in order to avoid morning battles of “I want to wear this, not that.” Homework and school projects are done in the afternoon and her backpack is placed near the door so that I don’t have to hunt for it in the morning. If I am running low on gas, I fill up the night before so I am not forced to stop at the gas station right before school.
2. Limit Distractions
I tend to limit my daughter’s access to technology during a school morning. That includes limiting iPad and computer usage, as well as placing firm boundaries on television watching. If there is extra time in the morning, she may catch a few minutes of her favorite kid-friendly shows while eating breakfast. However, if we are crunched for time for whatever reason, she knows it is not an option to ask for technology.
3. Wake Up 15 Minutes Before Your Children
By waking up 15 minutes earlier than my daughter, I am able to set the cadence for the day. I have a chance to drink a cup of coffee, sneak in a shower, or answer an email. Taking a quick glance at my to-do list, I make a mental note of what needs to happen for the rest of my day. Because I reserved time for myself in the morning, I don’t feel the need to multitask when I am dealing with my daughter.
4. Stay Calm
Avoid yelling at your children first thing in the morning. Remind them gently that they have a certain amount of minutes to complete a task, and emphasize, depending on the age of your children, that specific things must happen in order to reach school in time. Try and repeat the same cycle every day so that children know what to expect. If their pattern is to make their bed, get dressed, eat breakfast, and brush their teeth before they go to school, try to keep that routine so that you don’t have to remind them of what comes next.
5. Expect the Unexpected
Life is sometimes messy and some mornings, despite preparation, obstacles arise that you didn’t expect. A work deadline, flat tire, or a child who feels sick can disturb the equilibrium of your morning. Anticipate that on any given morning, these things may happen. Instead of stressing out, try to accept that some mornings you may run a little late. Allow yourself to have an imperfect morning. This attitude breeds peace.
What are some of your suggestions that help make way for a peaceful morning?