How to create a no-stress morning routine for your kids
Tired of running around frantically every morning, trying to get your kids ready for school? Maximize your sleep and minimize your stress levels with these simple tips.
Pick out two clothing options
Kids like being able to choose, but they need a little structure to help them choose wisely — and quickly. Without your help, they're likely to shuffle aimlessly through their drawers and come down for breakfast at the time you should be heading out the door. But if you demand they wear something, a temper tantrum can easily ensue that will slow things down even more. The happy medium is to lay out two outfits either the night before or the morning of, and let them pick which one they want to wear. This way they get to exercise their right to choose, and you get to ensure they don't leave the house wearing a "Hello, Kitty" shirt, Halloween tights and a tutu.
Pack lunches the night before
It's all too easy to leave the task of packing lunches 'til the morning, but when you do, this potentially quick and stress-free process can turn into a nightmare. Putting together lunches the night before will save you loads of time and hassle come sunrise. If you're worried about your kids complaining their sandwiches are soggy from sitting around too long, whip up something easy like egg salad in advance, and keep it in the fridge. That way putting together a sandwich will take seconds rather than minutes. Place items that need to be kept cool, such as sliced vegetables and fruit, in their lunch box and in the fridge, and keep snacks, such as granola bars, in clear view so you can throw it all together and go.
Consider these school lunches your kids will love >>
Get backpack prep out of the way
If you leave packing up backpacks until the morning, there's a very good chance you'll wind up running around at 7:30 a.m., trying to track down your kids' homework or textbooks. Once children are old enough, you can make it their assignment each night to pack up their bags and place them by the door. That way you'll have a visual cue that lets you know they're ready for the morning. If you're worried about anything getting forgotten, go over a checklist with them the night before. Preparing one's own things for school is an important skill that is better learned sooner than later, so it only makes sense to let them be part of ensuring a stress-free morning routine. If your little ones aren't quite old enough to pack their own things, the rule of getting it done the night before is still a good one to abide by. Having less to do in the morning equals less stress.
Have a few go-to breakfasts on hand
When kids are cranky in the morning, telling them what they have to have for breakfast might be met with resistance, which will throw a wrench in your speedy departure plans. Having a couple of options kids can choose from will help them feel more in control of their mornings and more inclined to be agreeable. Whole-wheat toast with peanut butter and bananas is quick and easy to throw together, as is whole-grain cereal with milk and berries. You can also boil eggs in advance and keep them in the fridge for a hassle-free protein boost. With just a little extra preparedness, getting kids fed and out the door on time is easy.
What are your secrets to a stress-free school morning? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!