Back to School Tips: How to Make Your Family’s School Mornings Go Smoothly
It’s officially back-to-school season, which means everyone’s least favorite weekday activity is about to resume: those dreaded school mornings.
Instead of talking to professionals for help with my morning madness problem, I turned to the real experts: other parents. I feel like when you ask for real advice from real people, you get real answers. Most of the moms and dads I spoke to offered up tips that are downright helpful.
ROUTINE, ROUTINE, ROUTINE
It’s no secret that kids thrive on routine, so mornings should be no different.
“Clothes are put out the night before,” says mom of two boys Carissa Clarke. “[In the morning, the kids] put on everything except their shirts. Then they eat and brush their teeth. Shirts on and done in less than 30 minutes. Then they are free to do what they want until it is time to leave. Lunches are made the night before for easy grab and go. It’s discipline for us parents too.”
GETTING FRUSTRATED DRESSED
It takes, quite literally, less than a minute to get dressed. So why is this so often the hardest part of the entire morning? Jessica Zeehandelar picks her battles, and clothing choice isn’t one of them.
“Don’t fight with your kids over their attire unless it is inappropriate or it is a special day at school like costume day or PJ day,” she says. “Let them choose. Lay the clothes out the night before, not the week before, so they’ll be less likely to change their minds.”
KEEP YOUR COOL
You can only say, “It’s time to get up” so many times before you start losing it. Zeehandelar swears by a soothing wake-up routine.
“I wake my children up gently with a soft voice, snuggles and optimism,” she says. “Or sometimes I say something cheesy like ‘Sleepyhead, it’s time to get your bottom out of bed!’”
Remember, the hectic mornings will be over one day. Thomas Laresca said it best: “Take a deep breath and enjoy them, time does quickly. One day they’ll be away at college and you’ll wish you had those days again.”
This story first appeared in New York Family.