For many of us, the alarm clock going off marks the start of a daily battle to get everyone out of the house on time. But a few small changes to your morning routine can make a huge difference and stop you arriving at the school gates red-faced and frazzled. Hey, you might even get time to drink a whole cup of tea!
It’s all in the preparation
The golden rule for smooth-running weekday mornings is to do everything you possibly can the night before. This means:
Making sure homework is done and in your children’s school bags.
• Putting all non-perishable items in lunchboxes. That way, the next morning you’ll just have to add drinks and sandwiches.
• Laying out uniforms.
• Checking the calendar (or getting older kids to check for themselves) for activities the next day like PE, swimming or music lessons, then getting the appropriate kit ready.
• Signing any permission forms and putting them in your child’s school bag.
It’s also important to make sure your child goes to bed on time (easier said than done sometimes, we know!). A well-rested child is much easier to get going the next morning.
When the alarm goes off
It sounds obvious, but if your weekday mornings are always a mad rush, it could simply be because you’re getting up too late! Whilst it’s tempting to hit snooze on dark winter mornings, an extra half an hour can be the difference between frazzled and serene.
Keep breakfast simple too. Weekends are the time for more leisurely feasts, whereas things like healthy cereal, fruit, yoghurt and toast make perfect weekday staples.
An ‘emergency bag’ that you keep by the door can come in very handy. Pack this with cereal bars, bottles of water, wet wipes, a hairbrush, a hair band, plasters and a couple of pounds in change, for any last-minute panics.
Responsibilities and rewards
Don’t forget that even younger kids can do a lot of the preparation themselves, and that often with teenagers they’re actually more likely to get themselves out on time if you back off and make it their responsibility.
Rewards like the promise of a special weekend breakfast can be motivating too. Check out rise and shine winter breakfasts for inspiration.