Christine Koh

Hello!

I'm Christine Koh, a music and brain neuroscientist turned multimedia creative. I'm the founder + editor of Boston Mamas, co-author of Minimalist Parenting, co-host of the Edit Your Life podcast, and creative director at Women Online. Drop me a line; I'd love to chat about how we can work together!

Making Mornings Easier

colored-pencils.jpgProbably due to my denial about the summer's end, I'm a little stunned that today is Laurel's first day of school (and other than some morning grumbling, it went off without a hitch...no tears at drop off!). I know many of you have already started the school year or are starting this week so I wanted to share a few of my favorite tips for making mornings easier, plus some excellent back posts to help with transitions. Because experience with Laurel has taught me that transition can be easy (last year) or challenging over many months (two years ago). Good luck everyone!

Here are five tips to making mornings easier:

1. Wake up 10 minutes earlier. Without fail, whenever we give ourselves 10 extra minutes of breathing room, mornings feel more calm.

2. Prep two days of lunches at a time. We find that lunch making is less painful in the mornings when some of the pieces are already in place a couple of days a week. On Mondays and Wednesdays I pack Laurel's fruit and vegetable containers and set aside snack options (e.g., yogurt, granola bars) for two days. I'll make the main course (e.g., sandwich, mac and cheese, etc.) fresh the morning of school depending on what Laurel is in the mood for.

3. For those with kids with long hair. Laurel has very long hair and it's prone to major tangling. And dealing with a super snarly head in the morning is time consuming and does not help morning grouchiness. I comb out her hair the night before (and sometimes braid the hair) to minimize morning tangles.

4. Lay out clothes the night before. This is an easy task that you can have your kids take care of. They'll love the autonomy and it will help avoid clothing battles in the morning. I also recommend being OK with whatever your kid picks (i.e., not worrying about things matching) so long as the clothing is weather appropriate. Laurel tends to pick combos of patterns and colors that I might not assemble but if the clothes make her happy and make for an easier transition, why pick a fight when it's really not necessary?

5. Remain calm. I feel as if I give this advice a lot when it comes to parenting but it never fails me! I find that if I get sucked into the drama and get cranky in response to Laurel's behavior, the bad mojo escalates, whereas when I can remain calm and redirect, we can diffuse the situation quickly.

Do you have other tips? I'd love to hear them in the comments below!

And here's some great back reading regarding back to school transitions:

 

  • Fall structure strategies
  • Easing back to school jitters
  • Kindergarten transition tips, part I
  • Kindergarten transition tips, part II
  • Back to school books
  • The keepsake item that helped Laurel make it through her first year of elementary school

     

    Image credit: nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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