Do you dread getting your kids out the door in the morning? Are your weekday mornings filled with kids throwing clothes, refusing to eat and begging to watch tv? Don't worry...you are not alone!
Getting your children out the door in the morning can be a major challenge for parents. By 8am, parents are left feeling stressed, tired and angry. Sticking to a routine and prepping the night before can save a lot of time and stress, but for many parents, it is impossible to get out the door without nagging and yelling. Here are six ideas that will make getting ready in the morning a more positive experience and will also get everyone out the door on time.
1. Music Playlist. Create a playlist of your childs favorite songs. Every task (use the bathroom, get dressed, eat breakfast) is connected to one song and must be completed by the time the song is over. Your kids will happily sing along; just make sure they don't get distracted having a dance party.
2. Checklist. Sit with your child and create a checklist of morning activities. Include your child in the creation of the list. Allowing her to participate will show her that her opinion is important and also help her understand what is expected of her in the morning. Many children respond to checklists because they can see what they need to do and feel in control of the situation. Children will feel empowered when they can check off each item.
3. Make Believe. Some children respond to seeing the morning routine played out with stuffed animals. On the weekend or the night before, act out the morning routine with a parent and child stuffed animal. Play out the scenario with you as the parent and then switch and allow your child to be the parent. You can add some humor to the scenarios. Some children need to act out situations through dolls in order to work out their feelings.
4. Beat the Timer. Some kids respond very well to timed situations. Make a game out of racing around the house to get ready and challenge your child to beat the timer in his morning tasks. If you have more than one child, they can race against each other. Fastest score wins!
5. Dress Up. For the fashionista child, let her play dress up the night before and choose her outfit. Put any clothing you don't want her wearing to school in a different area than the school clothes. This way she doesn't spot her favorite Frozen dress in the morning, put it on and refuse to go to school in anything else.
6. Rewards. Kids respond to rewards and positive reinforcement. Tell them if they get ready by a certain time with no fights, they will be rewarded on the way to school or a surprise reward will be placed in their lunchbox. If they do not comply, they are not rewarded.
Getting your kids ready in the morning does not have to be a chore or a reason for tears. Make the morning routine a fun experience for your kids and start the day with smiles.
This post was originally posted at About.com Childcare