Quick tips to get your kids ready for school on time every morning

If you’re not a morning person, it might be the most daunting task to get your kids dressed, fed and out the door with everything they need for school on time. Heck, even if you are a morning person, it isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Kids work on their own schedules and aren’t going to gobble down that oatmeal just because you want them to. The key is to keep it simple. Here are some tips to help your mornings be less frantic and more organized –

1. Mornings begin the night before

Make sure that the uniform/clothes, shoes, socks are all laid out and kept it in easy access points – uniform by the dresser, shoes by the door, etc. Make sure school bags are packed with whatever books/notes/assignments that are required for the next day. This will reduce all the pain of finding stuff in a rushed morning.

2. Maintain a routine

Kids are creatures of habit. This means that you are better off doing the same stuff every day – waking up at the same time, spending the same amount of time (§approximately) over the morning ablutions and even alternating between set breakfasts that are quick to make and easy to eat – cereal, oatmeal, fruit, milk, upma, idli, dosa, all come under this category. Do not fix what isn’t broken. If your kid loves chocos for breakfast every.single.day, don’t fight it. Ultimately, you want him fed and out the door.

3. Make a list

This may seem unnecessary but when sending our son to preschool, the ever list-inclined me came up with a list of 24 (I kid you not) items off a checklist that needed to be accomplished before we could all be out the door. Everything was accounted for – from brushing teeth to packing snacks. We then divided these amongst ourselves to find the most efficient morning routine that would permit us to sleep those extra 10 minutes in the morning. As your kids grow, it might be easier to let them accomplish a few of these tasks themselves, eg., brushing, choosing their clothes, pouring the cereal, etc. These make for a more relaxed morning for all of you.

4. Set and maintain a standard bed time

Tired and cranky kids are the hardest to get out of the door. Make sure the kids get to bed on time and get adequate sleep to be fully charged for a packed day ahead. You’ll be amazed how long ordinary everyday tasks such as brushing can become threat-inducing situations when the kids aren’t well rested. Read here for more tips on waking your kids on time.

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5. Make time for cuddles and kisses

The last thing you want is your child feeling harried and unloved through a rushed morning. No matter how late it is, there is always time for one more kiss.

6. Keep chores for evenings

Chores are important in a child’s life to give him/her the responsibility and to encourage individuality. But let’s face it, if you gave your child any more responsibility than dressing themselves up in the morning or feeding themselves breakfast, you will be at home all day. Keep the chores for the evenings and give them ample time to tackle them. And keep them short and easy.

7. Break the routine

When you can afford it, eg. in the weekends, break away from routine. Let the kids sleep in, have breakfast communal style, stay in PJs or whatever. Come Sunday evening, you’re back to nagging them about school anyway!

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