Whether your kid is five or 15, if they have to get ready for school in the wee hours of the morning, they are going to give you a hard time. They will typically drag their feet out of bed, take their good old time brushing their teeth and using the bathroom and, if you’re lucky, they won’t fall asleep for a few extra minutes of sleep on the toilet. At some point you are going to ask yourself how to make your kid get ready for school fast in the mornings, and probably sooner rather than later.
Getting your kid up, dressed, and ready for school can be stressful no matter how you slice it. He or she might get distracted easily and play with their toys when they should be getting dressed. Or, they might suddenly remember an assignment they were supposed to have completed the night before and use those few precious extra moments in the morning to do it. Or — some parents’ favorite — your kid could suddenly decide they don’t want to eat breakfast until right before you need to walk out the door.
It can be a careful, but stressful, balancing act every morning, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. There isn’t a cure-all to ensure your kid never acts like a slowpoke in the morning again, but these are some tips to make your kid ready for school faster in the mornings.
Prepare Everything The Night Before
You might not be able to make your child’s favorite breakfast the night before they have to wake up early for school, but there are some things you can prepare ahead of time. Make and pack school lunches before you go to bed so all you have to do is grab and go in the morning. And have your child set out his or her clothes where they will see them in the morning. This can greatly reduce the stress of trying and failing to find a favorite sweater or pair of jeans after they wake up. You can also place shoes by the door and locate any stray ones before going to bed so that everything is exactly where you need it in the morning.
Wake Up A Little Earlier Than Necessary
Setting the alarm clock for 15 minutes earlier than you need to wake up can have one or both of two benefits. It can give you and your little ones extra time in the morning to do what you need to do before you can successfully go out the door. Or, setting the alarm early and hitting the ‘snooze’ button can make you feel like you are getting a little extra sleep, thus making it a little easier to get up and stay up to get yourself and your kids ready for the day. If you’re lucky, and you set the alarm clock even earlier, you can reap the rewards of both of these effects.
Set Boundaries With Technology In The Mornings
One of the biggest distractions for kids in the morning is technology. Children are naturally distracted by cell phones, tablets, and TV, and if any of those are on or available to them in the morning, it can greatly hinder their ability to get ready for school on time. If you set boundaries with keeping technology from the kids until you are in the car or banning them in the morning altogether, it can make a big difference in time management all around.
Stick With A Set Bedtime
Another reason why your child might be extra sluggish in the morning is if he or she isn’t getting enough sleep the night before. If your child doesn’t fall asleep until 10 p.m. and has to wake up at 6 a.m., that might not be enough sleep to help them feel rested. Get everyone on a reasonable bedtime that you stick with each night to train your body into a routine that works. Then, you and your kids stand a better chance at waking up on time and feeling energized enough to get ready in the morning.
Save Minor Routines For The Car If Necessary
If you can’t get your kids to eat a full breakfast or even brush their hair, save those tasks for once you get in the car. Getting out the door is sometimes the hardest part. Once you are in the car, you technically have a little more time to get ready. Keep a brush in the car to allow your kid to brush his or her hair while you drive them to school. Or, bring handheld breakfast like toast and peanut butter or a bag of cereal and thermos of milk, with you for when they might get a little hungrier on the way to school.
Make A Checklist For Everyone To See Each Morning
This one is a little easier to do if you have kids who can read. And if that’s the case, make and set up a visible checklist to go through each morning to ensure that everyone has done their part in efficiently getting ready for school. Whether there is a master list in a common area of the home or one in everyone’s bedroom, it can help guide along the process in the morning before school.
As excited as you might be to get your little one off to all-day kindergarten, the morning routine struggle can be hard to get used to. Even younger ones will fight you in the morning when it comes to getting up and actually making an effort to get themselves ready for school. Once they are out the door or out of the house, it’s clear sailing (more or less), but it can take a lot to get there. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a parenting handbook, as amazing as that would be. Instead, in this instance, these tips should help to make your kid speed up their morning routine.