Getting to school on time and consistently on time can be a constant struggle for some families. Running around the house, searching for lost articles of clothing and trying to mix something up real quick for breakfast and lunch can turn into absolute mayhem. So, how can we all prepare for a more relaxing morning while also preparing for school? Here are some very simple tips that can help alleviate a stressful morning so we can get our children off to school...on time!
Prepare for the expected! Sometimes unexpected situations happen that are out of our reach, which is ok. However, we can prepare for what’s expected to happen that day, right? Do what you can the night before. Have in mind what you might want to do for breakfast and lunch. Make sure clothes are picked out and ready to go. Also, try to wake up before the kids do to give you some extra time to prepare for... well whatever. Is the car filled with gas? Do you have everything you need to make lunch? What’s the weather prediction for the day? Be prepared!
Organization is an important characteristic to have in everyday life, especially when trying to get the family ready for their day. School items and any other items that will be needed for the day should have a designated area somewhere throughout the home to promote easy access to necessary items. Having backpacks packed and ready the night before, clothes laid out the night before, and everything needed to make a solid breakfast and lunch will only make the morning less stressful for everybody! So first, prepare, then organize!
Get into a routine
A consistent schedule should be set for weekday nights and mornings. Try to have a set bedtime and a set time to wake-up, for everybody in the family! This will help designate an everyday routine for everyone. Will you pack lunches that night or in the morning before the kids wake? It’s up to us to set our routines, so do what works best for you and your family! Prepare, organize, and get into a routine!
Set up an environment for success
Incorporate specific items in the home that might improve on-time behavior. For example, the addition of more clocks throughout the home could possibly help with school tardiness. Also, being prepared, getting organized, and setting a routine will help improve an environment for success!
Reinforce on-time behavior
Reinforce behaviors you expect from your children that will promote on-time behavior. For instance, if the family makes it to school on time for a week, maybe cook a special breakfast one morning for everybody. Or, just letting children know they are doing a “great job” sometimes helps! Again, do what works best for you and your family, but try to reinforce positive on-time behavior in some form or fashion!
So to wrap up, this is really about planning and preparation, which we are all capable of doing, right? Don’t forget to discover a schedule that will establish a consistent routine. Last, remember to set up an environment for success and reward behaviors you wish to see. These 5 tips should help us improve our mornings, which hopefully moving forward, should improve the rest of our day!
J.B Hewell M.Ed, BCBA