Before the bell rings

Get your family in a new routine that will work forever


 
 

Amy Souza

 

Short stuff: Education
We all know that crazy mornings make for crazy days. Being on time is a key habit to nurture in your children. This school year, start off fresh with a new routine for weekday mornings.

• Two weeks before the first day of school, begin adjusting your child’s bedtime and wakeup schedule to that of school days.

• Pack lunches the night before or keep pre-sealed envelopes containing exact amounts for lunch/milk money ready in an easy access drawer.

• Resist the temptation to press the snooze button again. And again. Place the alarm clock away from the bed, on a shelf, so it’s necessary to stretch up to reach the off button.

• Before bedtime, have your child select her outfit for the next day. If you have a picky fashionista on your hands, set a timer for 15 minutes. If the buzzer rings before the outfit is selected, mom/dad gets to finish the job.

• Backpacks should be filled with completed homework, milk/lunch money, library books to be returned—and should be zipped up and hanging on the doorknob the night before school.

• Embrace media-free mornings. Or reward children who are dressed and ready to go with 10 minutes of cartoons—time permitting.

• Even small children can be taught to make themselves a healthy breakfast while you prepare for your day or help take care of the littlest ones. Keep tried and true favorites (yogurt, fresh fruit, bread and jam) in an easy-to-reach spot. Remember that kids love non-traditional breakfast items; cheese and crackers, leftovers from last night’s dinner or a peanut butter and banana sandwich are easy to prepare in a jiff.

• Set all your household clocks five minutes earlier (and don’t let anyone else in on it).

• Bathe kids the night before school. Save time and the environment by getting older kids into the habit of taking a quick five-minute shower. Check out rippleproducts.com for waterproof shower timers.

• Moms and dads, don’t forget yourselves. Allow time to ease peacefully into your day by waking up a half hour before the kids. Meditate on the day ahead or cuddle up with a cup of Joe and the daily newspaper.

• Reward yourselves. For each and every day you and your children are all on time, place a sticker on a chart. Five stickers equals a special family treat: ice cream cones and a trip to the park on Saturday afternoon, a Friday night movie with buttery popcorn, etc.

Remember: It’s all about fostering good habits early, so you won’t have to deal with dragging a late-sleeping, 150-pound 17-year-old out of bed come high school. Focus on how great it feels to be on time and ready to learn.

 

 
 







 
 
 
Copyright 2014 Wednesday Journal Inc. All rights reserved. Chicago web development by liQuidprint