Get Out of Bed
I kow you are languidly hanging out at home and your kids are in their PJs playing with new toys. (Or at least in my fantasy that is how life is going) And the last thing you want to do is think about school starting and the morning routine. But that is exactly why you have to think about it now, because the best time to talk about new routines is before you have to do it, instead of when you are in the middle of it.
So, how did it go last term? Were you out the door, on time and everyone had all their stuff? If so, stop reading and move on to another post. If there were bumps and maybe some squabbles, some late slips and some forgotten lunches and most of all if there was GUILT (on your part the kids don't really care) then it is time to re-asses.
Our mornings went pretty well at first, especially considering we are dropping off at two different schools and have three different start times. I say at first, because in the last six weeks of the term my son Aaron got 14 late slips. Yes, 14 and I am pretty sure they are all my fault because when my anal husband drives him he is always on time.
Other than the obvious time-management techniques the best way to have a smooth morning routine is to work out a routine with your kids (or so it goes in parenting theory circles). Every person can contribute ideas and every person can have responsibilities. Even two year olds can contribute to ideas and agree to grab their backpack off the hook or put on their own socks.
Write down the routine on a giant piece of bristol board if you have to and then constantly refer to the routine during the morning. This will relieve you of the referee role and make the routine be the boss. Next step is to set up alarms clocks and timers to notify the family of upcoming deadlines. Sounds a bit weird? Well, your alarmist yelling was like an alarm clock, and just as ignored, so why not make it an inantimate object?
The most important part of a revamped morning routine is that you have to wipe away any guilt for your kids being late. Once you hand over some responsibility to them to get to school/daycare you may be surprised that they actually feel responsible. It is not a reflection on you if your kids are late and once you let them own that feeling they may actually care.
When it comes to cchanging up your mornings you have to keep your goals in perspective. If you are a family of dawdlers and late-risers, your mornings may never be a completely-well oiled operation, but if you can get out of the house without losing your mind, that is a win.