It’s 7AM and your eight-year-old is just starting to get out of bed – although she should be up half an hour ago. The school bell rings in the next half hour and although you are one of the lucky ones who stays five minutes away from the school, you can’t help but get stressed up that she will be late for school.
You also know that with you getting stressed up, your child will be in a lousy mood too which makes your morning routine even tougher than it already is.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Getting your child ready for school and being on time can be a stressful affair, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some helpful tips to get your child up and ready for school without putting in a fight.
How to Get Your Child Ready for School on Time
1. Get Things Ready the Night Before
Once your child is done with the day’s homework, get him/her to pack his/her schoolbag and prepare his/her uniform for the next day before going to bed. You won’t believe how small steps like this can do wonders to reduce the morning routine stress.
At the same time, you can also get your child to get his/her lunch box and water bottle ready and place that next to his/her school bag. Then lined these up near the front door so that he/she will be all set to head off to school in the morning.
2. Set the Morning Alarm to Get Your Child to School on Time
Teach your child the value of taking responsibility for getting up on time in the morning. With this, he/she will learn to rely less on you to wake him/her up.
Let your child use an alarm that he/she will be happy to hear first thing in the morning. You can either give him/her an alarm clock or a mobile phone with customised ringtones as the alarm. Discuss with your child on how much time he/she needs to get himself/herself ready and have breakfast before heading to school. This will then determine what time your child needs to set the alarm for.
If your child wakes up happy, it’s highly likely that he/she will stay that way for most of the day which makes for a productive day in school.
3. Give Good Breakfast Choices
Yes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so do give your child options on what he/she prefers to start the day with. When you involve your child in selecting his/her breakfast menu, he/she will feel more relaxed and cooperative which then speeds up the breakfast routine. Trust us, this will go a long way to start the day on a good note.
4. Get Your Child to School on Time: Start a Checklist of Things to Do
It is a fact that children learn and process information differently and some of them need a visual reminder or list of things that they need to do in the morning before heading off to school. With that in mind, doing up a checklist filled with drawings and photos can be helpful to keep your child on track of what needs to be done every morning – for example, brushing teeth, taking a shower, getting dressed and eating breakfast.
Pin up the checklist at a visible area such as the bedroom door or the living room wall so that your child will be reminded of the items on the list. Hopefully, this will help you to cut down on those verbal reminders to your child to brush his/her teeth or to eat faster.
5. Provide a Reward for Being on Time
Some children need constant reminders to get out of bed on time in the morning while others are motivated when there’s a reward to look forward to. Discuss with your child and let him/her choose the incentive that will help him/her make a conscious effort to get up and ready in the morning. This can be anything from extra time for TV or YouTube or a trip to the park on weekends.
Do let your child work his/her way towards earning these rewards and try not to give them out too often. Instead, they should be treated as occasional incentives to add some fun to the daily morning routine.
6. Go to Bed on Time
Your child needs at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep in order to function well the next day, so do make sure that he/she goes to bed at a reasonable time every night. Set a specific time for your child to start winding down before getting ready for bed. This means unplugging from devices and doing calming activities such as light reading or taking a warm shower before “lights out” time.
7. Lighten Your Mood As Well!
Your child picks up cues from you very quickly, and so it is important that you start your day in a relaxed and happy state. Take time to talk to your child as you rouse him/her from his/her sleep and respond to his/her questions and remarks pleasantly. Your cheerful tone might just be contagious which paves the way towards a smooth morning routine for both of you.
Yes, the morning routine can be stressful as there is that rush to get things done by a specific time. While getting your child up and ready can be challenging, letting him/her take on some of the responsibilities for getting ready for school can help to make things easier and stress-free gradually.
Here’s to a happy start of the day for all of us!