Updated: Nov 2, 2019
Written By: Michelle McVittie
How often do you repeat yourself in the morning? Starting the day screaming and yelling is never fun. If you are stressed and sweating by the time you get out of the door something needs to change. Mornings are frustrating when your children don’t listen. They could care less about getting out of the door on time. And this is where it starts, understanding that their priorities are not your priorities. Getting to school on time is not something that they value, or else you wouldn’t be reading this article.
1. What needs to get done?
Go get ready! I’ve said it to my kids, my husband has said to me as well. The difference is, I understand what I need to do to “get ready”. Do your children understand what needs to get done in order to “be ready”?
Make a list of the morning tasks:
– Get dressed
– Eat breakfast
– Have a shower
– Make lunch
– Pack your bag
– Brush your teeth
– Get forms signed
2. What can they do?
How much can your child handle? If there are too many tasks to do in the morning it may be overwhelming. They may not have enough time to do all of the tasks.
Some children have a hard time doing some of the tasks on their own. They may be ten years old, but developmentally act as though they are six and we treat them like they are fifteen. There has to be a balance and your expectations may need to change. Don’t think of it as lowering your expectations, but altering them. Meet them where they are at and give them the tools they need to succeed.
3. Use visuals and checklists
Write it down, be clear about what tasks your child needs to complete. A visual checklist helps the child remember what has to be done. It empowers them and keeps track of what they have accomplished. This helps create habits that will eventually become automatic for them.
4. Get organized
Have a central station for paperwork. Backpacks, shoes, accessories should be a location that is easy for the child to access. If you can find your things in the morning, it causes more stress. Chaos and disorganization are stressors for children. They thrive on organization, routine and understand what is expected of them.
5. Pay attention to effort
Pay attention to the good stuff and you will see more of it. We tend think they should listen, they should get themselves ready, they should want to do better. Children want to do well, but some struggle more than others. Notice when they do well, and comment on their effort. Be specific to what you like and they will try to do it again. For example, “That was great morning, everyone worked together.” “You started your morning routine on your own, I’m proud of you.”
For fun worksheets and charts to help organize your mornings visit: https://momthemanager.ca/shop/