Published on November 13, 2015 inParenting on LandOMoms.com
Mornings are hard. Trust me, with four kids of my own, I completely understand. Trying to get everyone up and out the door by 8 a.m. is difficult, but there are simple ways to make sure that everyone gets ready more efficiently and faster. The smoother this process becomes, the longer the family can sleep. Discover my 12 best tricks below.
Get yourself ready while the kids eat. My friend has a little mirror in her kitchen, and she keeps just enough on-hand to get herself ready—mascara, lipstick and a few elastic bands. She can complete a five-minute prep while the kids are eating, but she is still right there watching. Once you’re done fixing yourself up, style their hair while they are eating. I know it isn’t conventional, but it is a quick and easy solution because they will be focused on eating.
5. Cheat time
Set the clocks five minutes ahead to account for the time when you will be getting into the car. I should probably set mine 15 minutes ahead because our youngest ones are learning to buckle themselves in the car, and it takes much longer than when I do it. It’ll be your little secret that they are set ahead, but your family will magically appear everywhere on time.
Tips to Keep Kids on Track
6. Make it easy for them to help
Purchase zip-up comforters for your kids! These are handy because our kids can make their beds in under 10 seconds.
7. To-do list
Create a standing to-do list for your kids, and they can cross off accomplishments as they go. It’ll keep them accountable and provides guidelines for what needs to be done. A visual picture-card chart works well for kids, and they’re easy to make.
8. Morning soundtrack
Create a playlist to help them move along. Music can help them learn cues, like when the second song is finished, they should be done getting dressed and headed into the kitchen to eat.
9. TV time
Save TV time until they are ready to go, shoes on, out the door. It’s okay to sometimes let them eat and watch TV at the same time too. But using it as an award for accomplishing tasks helps fuel their morning routine instead of distracting them from it.
10. Pack it In
Pack as much in the car as you can the night before. If the kids have projects or sporting equipment to take to school, it all goes in the car before they go to bed. This helps you avoid forgetting something and wasting time having to turn around and retrieve it.
Have your kids make their lunches the night before school. Sometimes my husband and I pack the entire week’s worth of lunches on Sunday so they are ready for the week. We just keep them frozen until the kids are ready to go. Consider setting up a lunchbox packing station to make the process even easier.
12. Prep ahead
Lay out shoes by the kids’ backpacks the night before. Be sure that every shoe has a match and that they are untied and ready to be put onto those little feet. Keep all these items in their appropriate spots on a mudroom bench or organizing station.
After the day is done, and you aren’t quite ready to do it over, remember how flawlessly the morning went when you were organized. It’ll keep you and your family motivated and happier in the long run.