School Morning Routines that Work
What do firefighters and kids getting ready for school in the morning have in common?
Ravenous hunger and the need for a quick routine for getting out of the door.
Fire or not, it certainly can feel like a drill when we are getting out kids ready for school!
So let’s see what we can learn from firefighters:
Be ready for an emergency. It may not be a true life-threatening emergency, but parts of it can feel like it — especially when you can’t find ________ and really need it. A real Code Blue is when you’re already in the car and down the road and you hear, “WAIT! I FORGOT MY ______________!”
We can anticipate school morning emergencies always happening. So, we’ll build a routine to accommodate those wrenches in the routine.
Make it easy. Do anything and everything you can do the night before — down to placing the backpack in the car with shoes and socks. The minds in my house don’t work super well in the morning. The thinking that gets done during the afternoon and evening is far clearer and sharper.
Don’t want to forget homework that they have slaved hours doing? PUT IT IN THE CAR! Waiting for the school morning to do that is like waiting to see the roof on fire.
Keep it clean. The space that they get ready for school in the morning should try and look like one of those shiny fire stations where they can grab boots and go!
My son got ready for school in a place in the house totally separate from his own bedroom so we could accomplish this type of isolation. It worked well until modesty kicked in and he didn’t want to get dressed in the middle of the living room from a uniform basket.
Why did this work? Because I could keep a constant eye on him. He was practically under my nose. There was no opportunity to disappear and get distracted.
Get there early to prevent too much damage. Firefighters know this; we should too. For those that struggle getting to school on time in the morning, I want to first encourage you. It can be a huge life-stressor during those seasons when you are figuring out how to get to school (or anywhere) in a timely fashion with children.
But have hope! The rewards are HUGE when they become school age. So keep at it!
Aim for getting your kids to school at least 10 minutes before school actually starts. They will have a much more relaxed day and get experience arriving somewhere early instead of rushing.
Because, as we know,
….when you are “on time” to school you’re really “late”. The day is going to start moving whether you’re there at the start line.
Getting ready for school can be a pleasant experience. Once you expect the unexpected and give your family room to breathe with enough time, your day can begin peacefully. I promise.
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