My five-year-old is starting kindergarten in the fall and my wife and I know that we are in for a rude awakening. The biggest obstacle we’re going to face is trying to get our son to school by 8 a.m. each morning. Wish us luck!
The early school start time means that we have to be even more prepared than ever for what is about to unfold in the mornings. And the best way to do that is to create habits that will make sure we’re on time each and every day.
It also means that each member of our household has to commit to accomplishing the tasks needed to keep our train running on schedule.
Here are a few habits to get your mornings off to the best start possible.
1. Prepare Your Child’s Clothes for School the Night Before
If you and your child make it a habit to pick out an outfit the night before, that will save untold amounts of time and angst in the morning. It will also help if you know what you’re planning to wear the next day too.
2. Pack Your Child’s Bookbag the Night Before
This is another trick that will keep everyone’s anxiety level to a minimum. If you load up your child’s books, papers and any other items he or she will need for school the night before, it will save you from an unnecessary and time consuming game of hide-and-seek when you should be leaving for school.
3. Make Breakfast Simple But Healthy
You want your child to have a healthy start to the day but you don’t have time to make an elaborate breakfast. Make sure that you have healthy choices in the house that you can prepare quickly and that your children like to eat. You can also easily cut up a fruit salad every couple of days in the afternoon or evenings that your kids will devour in the mornings.
4. Keep an Eye on the Clock
You should have a running clock in your head in the mornings telling you when you’re on schedule and when you need to pick up the pace. If need be, set a timer alerting your kids when they need to finish breakfast and move on to their task. Be realistic about how much time you’ll need for everything – including dealing with potential traffic on the way to school.
5. No Television or Devices
Many kids get hung up in the mornings watching television or burying their head in their phones or tablets. If technology is slowing you down, go on a device diet in the mornings and keep them switched to "off."
It’s also a good idea to leave as little to chance in the mornings as possible. Sure, there will be challenges that arise, but if you have the majority of the work done ahead of time, you’ll be more relaxed and better able to handle those little crises that crop up.