You want to be organized and wake up in time, but somehow the mornings always seem chaotic. If you have trouble getting your family out the door in the morning, there are ways for you to reduce the stress and have a calmer start to your day. Creating a stress-free morning environment will help everyone to focus and will result in fewer forgotten items, and a happier start to the day for everyone in the family.
Organization (and a bit of fun) is the key to success and establishing routines and specific places for everything is a great way to get your morning flowing smoothly. Here are some points you might want to start implementing:
- Have an established place for book bags, shoes, coats, keys and other items your children routinely misplace. Get them to place items in the correct areas by rewarding them when they do so. For younger children, you can create games to help them remember to place items in the correct areas. For example, place a bicycle bell next to their coat and backpack hook. When they hang their coat and backpacks on their hooks, they get to ring the bell.
- Delegate tasks – children enjoy being trusted with new responsibilities and learning to cope with mornings is a valuable life lesson to learn. Each month, they should get one more task to do by themselves. You can also get your children to take turns to make lunches for the family.
- Plan lunches and set out clothes for the next day the evening before. This will mean that you have all the gear you need for sports or other extra mural activities and there isn’t a panic in the morning when you can’t find anything to wear. It’s essential to at least sort out backpacks so that all books, homework and stationary are located and assembled for the morning rush.
- Get enough sleep! This is the best way to ensure a stress-free morning. Your children must have a bedtime that ensures that they get all the sleep they need. Also, time exactly how long it takes each of your children to do their morning routine. If one of them is regularly late, consider waking them up earlier or assigning them tasks the night before rather than early in the morning. Try to work with your child’s personal style when practical and possible.
- Start the morning with a positive thought. Give each of your children a positive start to the day by saying something positive. This helps set the tone for the morning rush and put everyone in a better mood.
- Put reminders on the back of the door. This is a great place to put your calendar or a white board where you can write reminder for yourself and your children. It is the last chance you have before you leave the house. In addition to the usual keys, lunch, backpack, coat and gym gear, you can add things for specific days or remind your children of upcoming events.
It is never too late to start being more organized and planful for the morning. Remember, IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED, TRY, TRY AGAIN!
(Note: This blog post is adapted from a TutorDoctor post dated 9/7/12 and titled ‘Tips for stress-free morning routines‘)