Even the most organised parents with years of school-run experience will tell you that mornings can be a challenge. You'll need to be adaptable, but having a routine will help you manage the mayhem - making it easier for your child (and you) to enjoy the day ahead.
After school and evening
- Check your child's book bag for any letter and notes from their teacher, the school office, or PTA - party invites are often sent out this way too
- Talk about their day, read together and (when the time comes) help with homework tasks
- Make sure any books that come home are back in their bag each evening
- Find out if there's anything special going on the next day that they'll need something out of the ordinary for - wellies, cardboard boxes, a costume for World Book Day!
- Help your child layout their uniform read for the morning (including BOTH shoes)
- Use the Parentkind evening checklist with your child so they learn what they need to do each night - as they get older encourage them to do more by themselves
- Get them to bed on time, because tired and grumpy children aren't fun in the morning!
In the morning
- Get up half an hour earlier than your child to give yourself a head start
- Open curtains or switch on a lamp in your child's room 10 minutes before they need to get up, to give them a chance to wake up naturally
- Use the Parentkind morning checklist with your child so they learn what they need to do each day - as they get older encourage them to do more by themselves
- Allow enough time for breakfast - try and leave 15-20 minutes to sit at the table, it'll give you a few minutes to talk about the day ahead, and eating a filling breakfast will help your child concentrate at school
- Switch off distractions like TV or tablets - perhaps build in a few minutes for a bit of telly if everyone's ready on time, but not if you know it's going to cause problems leaving the house!
It might take a while for your new routine to become a habit (or to even remember that you have a routine), but stick with it and on the days when it all goes to plan, you'll find mornings are much calmer.