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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Focus on Fostering: Morning Routines ..2 ideas

Oh the pain of getting kids out the door in the morning!  They are supposed to be clean, reasonably dressed, fed, teeth brushed, backpacks in hand, homework in backpack, lunch or snack or money with them.... and on the list goes.  If you are at home when they leave you are exhausted as the door slams behind them.  If you are also trying to get yourself to work on time, you may arrive with one navy and one black shoe one of these days! Routines are especially comforting for kids new to your home, or who need the extra structure of a pattern.

Two words... No, not Calgon Bouquet!  Not peace and quiet.  and NOT boarding school... [however tempting].

Simplify and organize.

Anything you can do before the morning to simplify the process is time well spent... even if it is after 11 pm. Trust me, you will be grateful in the morning. Today's tip for simplifying is for those whose children eat cereal for breakfast.  Forget the pretty cereal bowls and buy some cute reusable food storage bowls with lids. Before bed, the cereal of choice is poured into the bowl, lid put on [so cereal stays crisp and safe from pets], and bowl with spoon are laid out at the table all ready for the morning rush. [This also sidesteps "S/He won't pass the box" spats.]

Organize the process into a pattern, a routine. This helps some of it eventually become automatic. True, the concept of teeth brushing as a morning priority or coordinated clothes as an asset may not become automatic until they are teens and have extra social motivation. But a routine helps. My younger kids never left the house without their snack... it was a big priority for them.  Our morning went much smoother when I gave each child a clipboard checklist [photos for younger gremlins] that they had to checkoff and hand to me to get their snack.  They would rush thru and check off the list item by item to be sure they got that snack in time for leaving.

Share some of your ideas?  We could all use help!

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