Kamis, 10 Februari 2011

School Morning Routines

I have been working with a parent this week who was finding getting out for school in the morning increasingly stressful with her three young children.  If you are having the same problem you may want to consider changing your morning routine as she has. This routine is suitable for children up to around 10 or 11 as they get older they need to be responsible more for themselves and can use alarm clocks and have a less structured routine.

I know when my son was young I had to make sure I had plenty of time in the mornings as he would get very stressed if he was rushed, woken up late or did not have some time to watch the TV or play before school.  To get some more time for everyone in the morning I decided to wake everyone half an hour earlier,  it worked so well you might like to try it....
Consider this routine although if you want to cross over the breakfast with getting dressed you can and adapt it to your time scales.  Make each day the same so that you all settle into a regular routine and it becomes second nature.
Time for you to get up
Or even earlier if you need or want to as the more time you have before they get up the easier it is for everyone if you are ready for action when they get up.
Children’s Wake Up Call
Go into their bedroom and say good morning it’s time to wake up and remind them they have to be up by 7.15 or in 10 minutes.  (My son always needed some wake up time in bed and if I just went back once or twice to say time to get up he would come round in his own time,)  You can take them a morning drink and leave it on the bedside table for them to encourage them to wake up)
Time to get up
Go into their bedroom, open curtains or switch the light on and say morning time to get up now. If you get a lot of moaning just give some empathy, for example, yes its hard getting up when you want to sleep, or acknowledge that you know how they feel.
Free time
You can use this time to come round and wake up, it is nice to meet up in the living room and have a drink together and spend 10 minutes with them watching the TV or playing and talking. You can then get on with making the breakfast.
Get dressed and washed and brush their hair
If this is likely to take longer, then you can start at 7.40, it would be helpful if you were ready to supervise this and had all your attention on helping them, depending on their age and ability.
Breakfast, everyone come to the table to eat.
Clean teeth collect things ready for the day
Time to leave
Can you see how there is plenty of time to get ready for the morning and by adding some play/TV time you have some extra time if they are running late as happens from time to time.  Be a little flexible about the times a few minutes either way is not going to hurt as long as you are out of the door on time.
Don't forget to work as a team,  for example delegate sandwich making to your hubby or partner.
The night before is the time to do homework and get clothes and kit ready for school clean shoes and find all the socks and ties that can make you run late in the morning.
Remember to praise, praise, praise each time they do as they are asked and use rewards like sticker charts to encourage more good behaviour.
You must let everyone know about your new morning routine before you start, make it into a positive thing and write out the routine and post it on the fridge door or somewhere everyone can see.
If you like this info and would like more why not join me on the Parent's Guide to Children's Behaviour online or group courses. New dates are out now to hurry to secure your place http://bit.ly/CDBCOURSE 
Let me know what you think and how you get on.
All the best

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