Creating stress-free school day mornings
Is school day morning chaos par for the course in your home? Life can be hectic, especially when you're trying to get everyone ready for their day and out of the house on time! Don't fret; keep your family organized and stress-free with these helpful ideas!
School day chaos can hit any family at any time! Everyone knows the drill: Get the kids up, feed them a healthy breakfast, clean up, find clean clothes, sign school forms and tests, pack a nutritious lunch your kids will want to eat, find missing books and other items, take care of the pets and, amid all of that, get yourself ready as well! But don't let morning chaos wreak havoc on your day. Here are some suggestions on how to keep your sanity while creating a stress-free start to the school day.
Keeping your family organized for the morning starts the day before.
- Keep your fridge and pantry stocked with lunchtime favourites. Have washed and prepared veggies and fruit in the fridge ready to grab and go. Pack individual containers or bagged packs of snack foods, such as cookies, crackers and dried fruit, ahead of time.
- Designate space in both the fridge and pantry for school lunch and snack foods to make finding them simple for everyone.
- The night before, lay out clean clothes for each young child for the next day. Encourage older children do this as well to prevent the "Mom, I have nothing to wear!" routine.
- When your children come home from school, take the time to go through their backpacks with them. Clean out any waste, read their agenda, review any forms and notes and remove and wash any reusable containers. This will help keep the next school day relaxed and organized.
- Have your child complete any school assignments the night before. Last-minute studying or homework in the morning can be too stressful. Before they go to bed at night, make sure they have all the school supplies, such as books and assignments, they need for school packed in their backpack and ready to go.
- Keep a small stash of school cash on hand for cafeteria lunches and miscellaneous expenses that come up, such as field trips.
- If your child's school doesn't offer busing and it's too far for them to walk, consider carpooling with another family. That will cut the driving in half and save you time.
Set a regular sleep schedule
Nothing will cause a stressful morning faster than a tired, moody child, so help ensure a peaceful morning environment by having your kids follow a regular sleep schedule.
- Tuck them in at the same time every night.
- Give every school-aged child his or her own alarm clock, and set it for the same time every day.
- If your child isn't a morning person, set the alarm earlier than necessary to allow them sufficient time to wake up before getting ready for the day.
A good start to the day means having a healthy breakfast.
- Keep it simple.
- A bowl of multi-grain cereal with fruit, granola and yogurt, a muffin or a breakfast wrap are all good choices.
Everyone pitches in
Even a young, kindergarten-aged child can help out in the morning, so get everyone involved to help keep your household running smoothly each morning.
- Assign certain tasks to each child. Consider everything that needs to be done in the morning, and delegate according to age and ability. For instance, a younger child can set out the breakfast dishes and feed the pets, while an older child can make breakfast and take out the garbage.
- Have each child help pack their own lunch and backpack.