Managing the Morning Routine
Are your mornings rushed and chaotic? If so, try these steps:
1. Do your morning routine the night before! Instead of waiting until the morning to do the morning checklist, do it before you go to bed. Get school clothes ready, pack the backpacks, gather homework, and make lunches.
2. Create a launching pad for each member of the family. Have a labeled bin for each family member near the exit door to collect shoes, keys, backpacks and coats. This way you'll have everything in one place in the morning.
3. Post a morning checklist where everyone can see it. As the clock ticks in the morning, you can ask your children how it's going on the morning checklist. This will keep everyone on task and moving toward the goal.
4. Clearly communicate expectations. Do you need to be at work at 8:00 a.m.? Do the children need to be dropped off at school or daycare first? If so, communicate with everyone what time you will be getting into the car. Is it 7:30 a.m. or 7:40 a.m.? Everyone should know what's expected in order to accomplish the goal. Be realistic about how much time is needed (usually more than you give yourself).
5. Be sure everyone is getting enough sleep. If one child seems to struggle each morning, maybe he/she isn't getting enough sleep. Consider moving the bedtime earlier in the evening if it's gotten too late.
6. Have a family meeting. If things continue to be chaotic in the mornings, sit down as a family and talk about what needs to change to make it more peaceful. Be sure to give everyone a chance to express his/her concerns and suggest solutions to the problems.
7. Don't forget to encourage the positives. When a morning does run smoothly, take time to encourage everyone for doing their part to get out the door peacefully and on time. This goes much further toward reaching goals than does complaining when it doesn't go well.
About the Author
A wife and mother of three children, Andrea is the website and ezine editor of Successful Family Chores, putting FUN and ENERGY into everyday tasks! Visit http://www.successfulfamilychores.com