We’ve all been there. The alarm goes off and chaos ensues. You quickly shower and get dressed, and then wake your child up for the day. As you’re frantically looking for your car keys, she’s running around searching for her matching shoe. All of this is happening before you’ve had a sip of coffee.
Below are some ideas that might help to ease the morning madness.
1. Start the night before
Make getting ready for the next day part of your bedtime routine. Involve your child in the process to help instill decision-making skills and to get her excited for the next day. Create a schedule (i.e. choose outfit, bathe, brush teeth, read a story, go to sleep) and follow the same sequence of events at the same time every night.
2. Save time for cuddles
You might want to hurry your family out the door, but it’s important to take a few moments to cuddle with your child. This quiet time can help her feel calm, relaxed and connected before getting ready.
3. Create a morning routine chart
Around age two, children are capable of following simple directions. Create a morning routine chart with your child, including both words and pictures. Keep the list to a maximum of four tasks (i.e. brush teeth, get dressed, brush hair, eat breakfast). Give her ample time before offering assistance. Add additional responsibilities as she gets older.
4. Designate a “morning essentials” area in your house
Keep your family’s keys, bags, shoes and jackets in a specific place in your home. Encourage your child to put her belongings away when she gets home, so everything will be ready to grab and go the next morning.
5. Keep backups in your car
No matter how much you plan ahead, you’re bound to forget something or run out of time. Keep some handy supplies in your car, such as a small hair brush, hair ties, a breakfast bar, tissues, and any other items your family might need.
Inevitably, there will be days when you’ve overslept, your child doesn’t like her outfit, or you’ve spilled coffee on your only ironed shirt. By setting routines and expectations, you’ll limit those hectic mornings and your family will be out the door in no time!