For some parents, getting their child out of bed and ready for school, is akin to a great battle of wills every morning. This can be especially tough if your child is just entering primary school, and has not become accustomed to waking up early. While you’re hassling them to hurry, the grumpy child is dragging their feet through every step of the morning routine. Here are some tips to help make the morning routine less of a chore for both you and your child.
Establish A Bedtime Routine
A good start to the morning starts with a good night’s rest. To do that, parents can establish a bedtime routine that allows the child to wind down before bed. Steer clear of any activities that will get the child excited before bed. Turn off the television, keep away the gadgets, and dim the lights as bedtime approaches. Your child might like a glass of warm milk or read a bedtime story to them. A set routine provides structure and makes getting things done more smooth over time. Check out this useful guide from HPB on the recommended sleep duration for all ages.
Make Breakfast the Highlight of the Morning
The first meal of the day is the most important — so why not make it the highlight of the morning? Mix things up instead of serving the same thing every week. Make breakfast something your child will look forward to, whether it’s pancakes, omelette, nutella waffles or egg sandwiches. You could even let your child help with breakfast occasionally.
Lay Everything Out the Night Before
Preparation is the best defence when it comes to the morning routine before school. Lay out the ironed uniform and pack the school bag the night before. This will save plenty of time and spare you the anguish in the morning searching for a missing sock, textbook, or worksheet. Get the children involved so it becomes a habit for them while teaching them to take responsibility for themselves.
Vary the Route to School
The problem with routine, while it ensures everything runs like clockwork, is that it becomes stale. If you have the luxury of living close to the school, switch up the route to school. Cutting through the nearby park, take another bus, or getting off a stop earlier to walk to the school. Just seeing a different scene every once in awhile can enliven the morning routine.
Start the Morning On A Positive Note
There’s a lot of truth in the saying that one small thing in the morning can change your whole day. Avoid yelling, nagging — or even being grumpy yourself.
Throw In the Occasional Incentive
Sometimes you need a deal sweetener to get something done, especially when your child is reluctant. Of course it’s not advisable to rely on the carrot all the time, but if the offer of an extra half an hour of TV or the iPad, or an a little more pocket money for recess will get your child out of bed — it might be worth the try!
The morning routine (typically) should get easier when your child is older and more independent. This painful task of dragging a stubborn, sleepy child out of bed in time for school does not last forever. Hopefully these motivational tricks and getting organised will help make a big difference in smoothing your morning routine.