Mornings with children – quite possibly one of the worst times of day if you’re a parent. The children and whining and complaining, not getting dressed, or brushing their teeth or putting their shoes on and generally not playing ball, and you have a bajillion things to squeeze into just over an hour before you have to leave for the school run. Clearly this does not a happy mum maketh, and that has been me since the beginning of back to school. So desperate have I been to try and strike some kind of harmony we are currently undertaking the “no complaining kids morning challenge” – well you can work out what that means, and basically means me bribing – oops! I mean – rewarding, my daughter with a ten pence piece if she can get through that painful morning zone without any complaining, whining or crying.
But apart from that, what else can we do to de-stress morning with children? Today I’m sharing tips, tricks and strategies from fellow parenting bloggers in the name of making mornings calmer for parents across the land:
Put everything in the car the night before
If driving to school get all the coats hats and book bags in the car the night before, then you only have to focus on getting them dressed and in the car! Every bit helps as it’s such a rush! – Real Mum Review
Shoes at the ready!
Always make sure that the shoes are waiting by the door each morning, it saves a lot of time flinging shoes around for a matching pair! – Five Little Doves
If all else fails….just do it yourself!
Give up trying to get your reception-age kids (and toddler siblings!) to put their shoes on themselves, just do it for them, it will save your sanity and stop you losing your temper from asking again and again… Our Scrap Book Lives
Make sure it’s all in order
Make sure you have a clear routine when getting home so that they always put their shoes, coats and school bags in the exact same place. Before you go to bed, check it’s all there and get bowls, cereal and spoons / cups ready on the dining room table for breakfast. Get all their clothes ready, in order of what they need to wear (underwear on top, then tights, then vest etc.) to avoid early morning meltdowns. – Le Coin De Mel
Aim to leave earlier than you need to
Always aim to leave 5-10 minutes before you actually HAVE TO leave as this means you’ll be much less stressed when there’s a last minute nappy change or other emergency! If everything goes well and on time, you can enjoy the school run with plenty of time. – A Mum Reviews
Get up ten minutes before the kids
My sanity saver is getting up ten minutes before the kids so that I can enjoy one coffee in peace before the chaos starts!! Days when I don’t I’m always so much more stressed out! – Modern Mummy
Ban the tech
We ban iPads etc until breakfast is eaten and the kids are dressed. It’s quite the motivator for them to hurry up – if they are ready early they can have ipad time before school. Works a treat! – Nomi Palony
Make like a project manager
Print off the school schedule and highlights what is happening each day for your kids class, and keep it by the front door. I always have a quick scout as we are leaving just to check I’ve not forgotten anything for that day! Much better than relying on your kids (or your brain!). – Twinderelmo
Make a checklist
My daughter has a list on her wardrobe reminding her to get dressed, brush her teeth, wash her face and find her shoes. I have one on the fridge reminding me to check P.E kit, homework and make packed lunches on certain days which are marked on the school menu next to it. I was the worst morning person ever but this routine has made it so much easier to keep on top! – Relentlessly Purple
Praise where praise is due
Although it can be so tempting to focus on all the negatives in the morning, a little bit of praise or positive attention can go along way. Make time to fill up your child’s emotional cup that morning and they will usually be a lot more cooperative. On the days my daughter has managed to do anything all by herself or without a fuss, I lash on the praise in the hope it will keep her in a good and cooperative mood until we get to the school gates! – Motherhood: The Real Deal
Introduce a Friday afternoon reward
We used to have the worst mornings, mainly because my son wasn’t especially keen on going! So, even if we did follow all the brilliant advice above, there would still be something to stall over! I started a weekly Friday afternoon reward. If we have successful mornings all week, he gets a treat on a Friday after school. In our house, it’s called ‘Rolling Stock Friday’, because it’s usually train-related, but it could be anything that appeals. It has been really successful! – The Parent Game
So hopefully the above tips will help to make your mornings with children that little bit calmer and smoother. Do you have any tips to share on de-stressing mornings with children? Do share in a comment below. For more stress busting tips why not check out this post on how to control stress as a mum.
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