How To Make School Mornings Easier
The looser schedule of summer is awesome, but it also makes it challenging to get back into a routine for the school year. We're now under two weeks out from the start of school so I wanted to share my top tips for how to make school mornings easier and get into a school morning routine.
1. Map out your school morning routine
To start, I recommend mapping out a simple timetable depending on external factors (e.g., school start times, bus pickup times) and the everyday school morning routine elements (e.g., getting dressed, breakfast, brushing teeth, etc.). It's especially helpful to create a timetable if your routine is different each day (e.g., who drops off, whether or not it's a bus day). Also, the added bonus of mapping out a timetable is that you can enlist your kids to follow the sequence to get out the door!
2. Pick out clothes the night before
This is an easy task that your kids can tackle. They'll love the autonomy and it will help avoid clothing battles and no-clean-underwear emergencies 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. Why pick a fight when it's really not necessary?
3. Tame long tresses
If you have a kid with long, tangle-prone hair, dealing with a super snarly head in the morning is time consuming and does not help morning grouchiness. Comb out hair well the night before to minimize morning tangles. I also recommend putting long hair into a loose braid to prevent overnight tangles.
4. Make lunch the night before
If your kids bring lunch to school, pack it the night before; there's no need to be scrambling around this task in the morning!
5. Backpack check
Can you tell I'm a big proponent of prepping things the night before? Do the backpack check the night before so you're not scrambling in the morning around homework or school projects.
6. Wake your kids up 10 minutes earlier
Without fail, whenever we give ourselves 10 extra minutes of breathing room, mornings feel more calm.
7. Wake up before your kids for a few minutes of calm
Especially when the school year kicks off, it's incredibly valuable to get up before anyone else for the sole purpose of taking a few moments to relax and breathe (read: not to start running around like crazy!). This is actually a really important piece of the mindfulness practice that I implemented after my summer stress seizure. I do not check my phone first thing; instead, I get up before everyone else and enjoy my morning coffee in the peace and quiet.
8. Remain calm in the face of morning drama
I feel as if I give this advice a lot when it comes to parenting and it never fails me! I find that if I get sucked into the drama and get cranky in response to behavior, the bad mojo escalates, whereas when I can remain calm and redirect, we can diffuse situations quickly.