Tips to avoid Morning madness with kids
You get out of bed with a dozen of ‘to-do’ items in your mind. You erratically run to the bathroom and then the kitchen and then into your child’s bedroom trying to wake him up…all this with a constant eye on the clock. You get irritated when your child asks for a couple of more minutes. A couple of more minutes ideally means, he will miss his morning bus… with frustrated voice, you give him a couple of those extra minutes and run back to the kitchen to pack his lunch box and get the breakfast ready on time. You then remember that you had to sign off his report card…the clock is ticking and you agitation is raising. This is called Morning Madness.
Every one of us go through this at some point of life and especially for young parents who want to ‘do it all’ this time seems to be never-ending. I have gone through this too… And after many trial and errors, I can say that I have successfully eradicated morning madness from my routine. Here are a few tried and tested methods. Hope these tips help you too!!
Wake up before your child
Set your alarm 30 minutes before you plan to wake your child up. This will give you the required time to pack the lunch boxes for the day and to set up the breakfast table. You will be calmer and more composed to wake your child up- you know you have everything under control.
All said and done, I know it is not easy to get out of bed in the early cozy hours of the morning. But once you realize that you can wake your child up with hugs and kisses – not with screams and yells, you will realize that this is the secret recipe to avoid morning battles.
Set up clothes and books the night before
Keys, books, ID cards, wallets…the list is endless. By now, you might have a rough idea of what delays you in the morning. Make sure to keep these items handy the night before.
One hour before bedtime, sit with your child to plan for the day ahead of you. This includes setting up the clothes, books, jackets and ID cards ready. If possible, you can pack the lunch boxes well in advance too. Make it a habit that you, your partner and your kids work as a team. Instead of making this activity a routine, boring and monotonous job, lighten up the air. Talk about your day, tell stories, and sing together while doing these ‘boring’ chores. Fill the room with laughter and fun so that you look forward to this time – night after night- every night.
Set up realistic after school activities
Children work throughout the school hours and are stressed by the time they are back home. After school activities are fun – provided they do not overload the kids. As parents, it is natural for us to expect our children to excel in every field. But it is also important that we be realistic and choose activities to fit into our schedule and of course! The interest patterns. Activities such as dance, music, painting or drawing could be relaxing to your child based on his/her interest. Choose wisely. Remember, it is also important that there is sufficient time for the child to do the homework and prepare for the next day.
Use incentives and rewards
Even after planning and setting up everything, it is for your kids to co-operate. Make sure you use incentives and rewards wisely. Kids love praises and of course, it is freeJ. Praise them for the good work – when the mornings go smoothly and as expected. Tell them how much this means to you and this would automatically increase their confidence levels and make the morning hustle bustle a lot easier to handle.
It is up to you to make them understand that it is their responsibility to get up and run to school and you are only supporting them in this regard… it should not be the other way round.