How To Get Your Kids Out The Door On Time
By Lily Morgan
If you struggle in the mornings with unmotivated and forgetful children who drag their feet, and you always seem to be running late, stop the chaos! With preparation, motivation, and these tips, you can get your family to school and you can be on time from now on.
Prepare, Prepare, Prepare
Perform most of your morning routine the night before.
Pack lunches in advance
Gather school supplies and books
Lay out clothing (complete with shoes) before going to bed.
Have everyone shower at night if possible.
Set the breakfast table after the supper dishes are cleared away.
Keep ready-to-grab-and-go breakfast foods available for rushed mornings
Empty the dishwasher at night so breakfast dishes can go directly into the wash
Keep a schedule
Set your alarm to allow 20 minutes of extra time each morning. Do not hit snooze!
Use an alarm clock with a battery back-up in case of power failure
Set a schedule for bathroom time for each member of the family. Enforce strict adherence
Set an alarm for 10 minutes before departure time. When the alarm sounds, instruct everyone to stop what they are doing, don shoes and coats and grab their bags. If whatever they wanted to bring isn't ready to go, that's just too bad.
Check the weather conditions each morning as soon as you wake up. This alerts you to poor road conditions, the need to scrape windows or shovel out your driveway before leaving home.
Ban television and video games from the morning routine. These are huge time stealers.
If a task is not vital to that mornings routine, leave it for later that day. Return calls, check email, feed the parakeet, and locate that missing sock when you get home.
Wake your children up early enough that they have time to prepare properly.
Designate one area for backpacks, shoes, and coats. Check the area each night to make sure nothing is missing.
Purchase a book bag or backpack for each child. Have him or her pack the bag the night before. If an item is not in the bag by bedtime, it does not go to school. This may seem harsh at first, but after several days of forgotten iPods, cell phones, and school assignments, children learn to stock the bag each night. This eliminates the mad rush through the house each morning to locate missing items.
Freeze snacks for the entire week to make packing lunches easier.
Serve cold cereals and apples or bananas for breakfast instead of pancakes and sausage. This drastically cuts back on the morning routine. Even younger children can prepare a bowl of cereal with little or no help.
Keep your car keys, cell phone, and wallet in the same place every day.
Put gas in the car in the evenings. Keep the tank half full at all times.
Putting a stop to morning chaos and chronic lateness requires changing your schedule and your habits. It may seem difficult at first, but over time, a smooth morning routine becomes second nature.
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