Wednesday, August 5, 2009

End Morning Madness

I don't know how it is as your house, but at mine, mornings are the worst! 2 of my kids are NOT Morning people! It does not matter how many hours of sleep they get at night, they are not the funnest people around when it comes to waking up. So Mornings are our problem when its back to school time.

I found these helpful tips at Going Bonkers Magazine that will hopefully help end our morning madness and I wanted to pass them onto you!

1. Revamp your Routines. Take a good look at your morning patterns and identify those things that cause stress. Pinpointing the exact problems is the first step in making productive changes.

2. Start your morning-AT NIGHT! A great way to smooth out your morning is to prepare as much as you can the night before. This means choosing the days clothing, packing lunches, gathering homework, signing permission slips, filling backpacks, and even setting the table for breakfast.

3. Post a calendar. Buy the biggest wall calendar you can find and hang it in a central location. Write down events and appointments for everyone on the calendar.

4. Create a drop box for each person. Have a labeled box near the door for each family member. Use this to store shoes, keys, backpacks, coats and anything else that goes out the door with you in the morning.

5. Use a morning list. Create a poster-sized list of standard morning activities listed in order to be done. Add a few specific time goes, such as "breakfast done by 7:30."Tape this poster on the wall near your monthly calendar, or on the front of your refrigerator.

6. Check out sleep time. Without adequate sleep a child won't be well rested. A sleep-deprived child will move more slowly and won't be able to follow a morning routine successfully. Make sure your child has an early, set bedtime.

7. Don't sleep in on the weekends. Letting your child sleep late on weekends is like giving him jet lag every week. Your child's bedtime should stay consistent 7 days a week.

8.Get up earlier. It may help to get everyone up 15 minutes earlier. A sneaky way to do this is to set all your clocks ahead by 15 minutes.

9. Avoid Anger. Yelling at a dawdling child to hurry up usually brings on the opposite result- the child becomes even more stressed, fumbles, makes mistakes and loses focus. Your job is to offer gently reminders for the child to stay on schedule, according to the morning chart.

10. Turn off the TV. Turn on the music. Turning the television off, and play upbeat music instead. A good beat can wake up sleepy kids and keep things moving along productively.

11.Fix problems with a family meeting. If problems persist take the time to sit down with your children and talk about it. Let everyone have a turn talking, and then work to arrive at solutions that will work to benefit everyone.

12. Praise Successes. Remember, your words of praise will encourage your children to cooperate with you and will keep everyone feeling good about their progress. A pleasant attitude funnels down from the top, and if you can keep a smile on your face; its likely that everyone will be happier and mornings will become a great start to a wonderful day!

What do you do to make your mornings go smoothly during back to school time?

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