As soon as the alarm bell rings, the rush begins… Do you have any organisation tips to avoid manic mornings?
Get to grips with the notion of “routine”
Ideally, you should set up routines in the morning. A routine is simply a series of steps that always take place in the same order.
For example, a child’s routine will consist of: getting up, having breakfast, brushing their teeth, putting on their coat, then shoes and picking up their schoolbag.
Make a table with the series of steps and display it in clear view. Once the child has completed each step, they place a coloured sticker beside it. Each morning, if the child has managed to follow the steps in order more or less on their own, they receive a small award.
A good tip is to get them to draw out the different steps so that they get to grips with this notion of “routine”.
As this becomes a habit, you will find that you no longer need to encourage or supervise them: the child will follow their routine on their own.
Help everyone to build their independence
Children do not need the same amount of time to get ready in the morning. Measure this time and encourage them to develop their independence: once your children know where the breakfast bowls are, how to prepare breakfast, how to sort the rubbish, you will start saving time. Watching television in the mornings is perhaps not the best way to encourage independence…
Time for yourself
The adult in charge of getting the children ready in the mornings should get up half an hour earlier than the rest of the household: this precious “time for yourself” that we all crave is actually a possibility! Get out of bed half an hour earlier, enjoy a relaxed shower and have your breakfast in peace, without a child crying “mum!” or “dad!” every 30 seconds – bliss!
The launch pad
I recommend setting up what I call a “launch pad”: a place for each family member to hold their packed lunch, container, plastic box, etc. labelled with their name. Your children place anything they want to show you there: school correspondence book, forms to be signed, loose buttons, etc. In turn, you leave signed forms for the teacher, tomorrow’s afternoon snack or the swimming kit there. This means that you don’t have to run after everyone, asking “have you remembered X/Y/Z?”
The whole family should prepare for the morning the previous evening
The whole family should work together to ensure that organisation is in place from the previous evening to make everyone’s life easier.
Why not leave a clothes basket in each bedroom where everyone can place their dirty clothes from that day?
Listening to the weather forecast will help everyone prepare their clothes for the next day.
Lunch boxes, snack boxes, bottles and flasks can be filled accordingly.
In other words, thinking ahead is the name of the game. That is how your mornings can become more “zen”.