Wednesday, November 28, 2012

STOP the Morning School Rush Madness With Simple Prep! (Guest Post)

If you feel like a drill sergeant (or a chicken missing its head) in the morning rush before school, chances are you need a change. Help your children learn how to manage time, and get to school with matching socks and possibly even with their hair done, by following these five tips to ease the morning rush:

Prepare the Night Before

Unfinished homework assignments, lunches that need to be made, and backpacks missing content can cause unnecessary stress in the morning. Ease the morning rush by preparing these things the night before. When your child gets home from school, greet them with a snack then help them with their homework. Before the night is through, have your son organize his backpack so it is ready to grab and go in the morning. A command center with cubbies or hooks gives children a place to put their school supplies until they need it in the morning.

Get Enough Sleep

Waking up late or trudging around in the morning could mean that your child isn't getting enough sleep. On average, school-aged children should get nine hours of sleep, according to Abcactionnews.com. Help your daughter establish a good sleeping schedule by creating nighttime rituals, enforcing bedtimes and making her room as cozy and sleep-conducive as possible. Consider using roman blinds to block out extra light or a soothing sound like a favorite lullaby to help her fall asleep.

Have a Morning Checklist

Every child should have his or her own alarm clock to wake up to each morning. Teach your children responsibility early on by having them wake up on their own, get dressed, brush their teeth and finish their chores before coming to the kitchen for breakfast. Amy Suardi, writer of Frugal-mama.com, said on her blog that she posted a morning checklist on her children's bedroom wall to help them know what simple tasks to complete when they wake up. Before her 6 and 8-year-old could read, the list was made up of pictures so they could still know what to do. This helped the girls develop independence and made school-day mornings much easier and smoother in the Suardi household.

Stick to the Routine

Establish a routine that works for your family and stick to it. If it means waking up a little earlier, get everyone in the habit. Morning time shouldn't be spent finishing homework or making lunches, but children still can have responsibility and tasks to complete before they leave for school. Whether it is practicing the piano or taking out the trash, give your children chores to complete so they can learn to utilize their time even in the morning rush.

Eliminate Stress

Get rid of what stresses you out in the morning. Review the average morning in your home or better yet, do a week long audit to find patterns in your routine. If there is something that can be eliminated to ease the morning rush, do it. While children need to learn how to manage time, they also need to be taught the importance of being on time. Cut out the unnecessary chores or activities that are weighing you or your children down before school. Schedules constantly change and adapt, so make sure you are adapting as well.

Post written by Ashley White.
Ashley is a blogger and self-described HGTV addict. She scours antique and resale shops for goodies to fill her family's eclectic home in upstate New York.

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