Get your kids out the door on time and with ease by following these tips for speeding up your morning routine. Learn how to establish a morning routine, prepare the night before, set expectations and consequences, use a timer, and foster independence. Start your day off right with a swift and smooth morning
THE STRUGGLE OF A SLOW MORNING ROUTINE
Mornings can be a hectic and stressful time for many families, especially when it comes to getting kids out the door on time. Whether you’re trying to get to work or school, it’s important to have a smooth and efficient morning routine. However, getting kids up, dressed, fed, and out the door can be a real challenge. But it doesn’t have to be! And there is a bonus to this, the less stressful the morning is, the less likely your day will be complete chaos.
ESTABLISHING A SOLID MORNING ROUTINE
The first step in getting your kids out the door faster is to establish a morning routine. This means setting a consistent wake-up time, meal times, and other daily activities. Having a routine in place can help kids know what to expect and make it easier to get ready in the morning. It also helps to have a schedule that everyone can follow. David Anderson, PhD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, suggests breaking the routine into two groups: the “must get done” and the “icing on the cake” tasks. For instance, getting out of bed and getting dress is a “must get done”, while perfectly styled hair might be an “icing on the cake”.
PREPARING THE NIGHT BEFORE
One of the best ways to speed up your morning routine is to prepare the night before. This includes laying out clothes, packing bags, and setting the table for breakfast. By doing these things the night before, you’ll save time in the morning and reduce the stress of trying to get everything done on time. And, parents, some of that responsibility falls on us. I have read too many Facebook posts from parents complaining about how the morning before school was a nightmare, and it turns out that they hadn’t packed lunch yet for their kid in kindergarten. Well, go figure. If you can, spend 10 minutes the night before doing that, so it doesn’t completely derail your entire day the next morning.
SETTING EXPECTATIONS AND CONSEQUENCES
Another important aspect of getting your kids out the door faster is setting expectations and consequences. This means setting clear rules and guidelines for what is expected in the morning and what will happen if those expectations are not met. For example, if your child is expected to be dressed and ready by a certain time, let them know what the consequences will be if they’re not ready on time.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING
When it comes to getting your kids out the door faster, timing is everything. Use a timer or countdown to help kids stay on track and make sure they’re ready on time. This can be a simple kitchen timer or even a countdown on your phone. A timer on an oven is also good because those just don’t stop making noise until you make a point to turn it off.
Finally, it’s important to foster independence in your kids. This means teaching them how to do things on their own, such as getting dressed, making their bed, and if they are old enough, preparing breakfast. The more independent your kids are, the faster they’ll be able to get ready in the morning.