Let us get you transitioning from the summer holidays to the new academic year with ease and splendour! Ok, perhaps that is a little dramatic, shall we try getting you back on track for the new school year with a little less stress, fewer big emotions and in the right head space to take on all that a new academic year brings.
If you are anything like my household over the summer bedtimes have become a bit more fluid, the morning routine has flown out the window and our approach to the day has become relaxed and go with the flow. Although this is all wonderful for summer days when getting yourself in the right head space to tackle the morning school run with your kids this approach may not work so well.
Humour me here and imagine if you will that a fairy godmother has waved her magic wand and granted you the perfect morning with your kids, what would that look like? Feel like? Sound like? If you have time, write it down. Pose this to your kids and see what they say.
Once you have this picture in your head, let us work back from there as you may need to take action to ensure that by September, mornings will go swimmingly!
Now I am not here to tell you how to structure your morning routine, without knowing more about you, your kids and what you are going through as a family it would be remiss of me to think that you would all fit nicely into a box where everyone can do exactly the same thing in order for their morning routines to be a success. However, there are some things that you may wish to consider:
Who is responsible for getting everyone up? Setting alarms? I would like to think that even children of 5 could be taught to set an alarm and get themselves up, you know if they are not the ones that are up with the sun in your home. Do they come into you for hugs and morning cuddles first? Do they have morning chores that have to be done?
Screen use in the morning, is this going to help or hinder your progress?
Can your kids get their own breakfast? Can you set it up the night before? Are you going to use this time as a way to connect with your kids before the day officially starts? Can they make you breakfast?
When does getting dressed happen before they come down stairs? After breakfast? Do you kids know this?
Lunches &/or Snacks
Are you able to organise any part of this say on a Sunday afternoon so it is ready for the week? Who is responsible for lunches and snacks? My hope is your kids are going to be! Can you set up a system that means making their lunch or packing their snack is easier and does not require you to micro manage?
Bags packed and by the door the night before is a great system to put in place and this is not you packing their bags. First you might need to be part of the process teaching them what to do with the end goal that with a little reminder from you they are away and can pack and include all the bits they need.
Is your child a morning person? Are you a morning person? This can dramatically influence how the morning routine goes. If mornings are not your families thing, then how are you going to ensure that everyone thrives? How can you set the morning up to be a success? As morning person or not, you still need to get your kids out the door on time.
What you ideally want of a morning is your voice to be removed as much as possible, so that when you do speak everyone listens! Having systems of self-management in place, predictable routines and conversations with your kids prior to the morning moments can all help.
Putting all this in place may seriously go against your natural rhythm but please be mindful that if your morning routine is not working then what can you do to change it so it does. Kids thrive on routine and I am not saying that the routine has to be so rigid that there is no room for flexibility just predictable.
If you can ‘crack’ the morning routine this really will set you up well for what the rest of the day throws at you.