Getting kids out of the door for school (and on time!) can be a big challenge, especially for homes with kids in early elementary as they learn to transition into earlier mornings and more structure. So, as we approach the beginning of a new school year, here are a few quick tips to make mornings go as smoothly as possible.
1- Make space for big feelings.
Have you had that moment? The moment when panic sets in when you know you’re already going to be late and one of the kids can’t find their other shoe? It’s so easy to let that panic launch us into rushing around and using louder voices with our kids. As some parents have already learned, this rarely works and often gets the kids moving in the opposite direction. Kids can pick up on the stress and it often triggers their own feelings of being overwhelmed. So, plan extra room in your morning schedule for things to not go as planned and for big feelings for both yourself and your kids. With that extra time, take a breath before the panic sets in and take two minutes to find out what’s causing the big feelings. Everyone will get what they need emotionally and the day will be off to a much better start.
2- Put a fun toy in the car before you leave for school.
This seems like an easy one but it’s a trick that can work really well. “Hey, buddy, let’s jump in the car, your favorite car is waiting for you in your car seat!” You may even try playing a special song that triggers the get-in-the-car race.
3- Start the day with a dose of connection.
Every kid loves quality time. Starting out your morning with at least ten minutes of undivided attention can set the tone for an awesome day. When we start the day rushed, you’ve probably noticed your kids reverting to attention-seeking behavior. So, try starting your mornings with coffee and legos and a little chit-chat before getting ready for the day. Attention is what they want, so give it generously.
We hope these tips help you out as you get ready to launch into this school year. And if nothing else, when your mornings look a little crazy sometimes, just know you’re not alone! Here’s to being in it together.
Happy back-to-school month, Oaks Church!