Getting organised with kids in the morning can be a calm and enjoyable process for all involved. With some thought and preparation it can leave everyone involved looking forward to the day ahead. Each family member will also feel a sense of achievement that they have made a positive start to the day.
One key way to ensure it is easier to get organised with the kids in the morning is to minimise the workload by preparing for the morning properly. If you implement these small changes, it will help you to develop a calmer, more organised morning.
Tips for getting organised the night before
In order to get organised for the morning you really need to start the night before. By preparing the following things, you not only reduce the morning workload, you will find you will have some much needed time for yourself as well.
Pack up lunches and snacks
This means you only need to grab them out of the fridge to pop them in lunchboxes for the day ahead. It’s a simple and practical time saver in the morning.
Leave breakfast out for the next morning
This allows you to have one less decision to make in the morning.
Pack up your little one’s bag
It’s vital to make sure this is properly stocked up with a change of clothes, nappies, wipes and snacks for your little one. Leave it by the front door so you can simply pick it up as you head out the door.
Lay out your little
Depending on the age of your little one you may choose
one’s clothes for the next day
one set of clothing for them to wear. If they like to “choose” for themselves, limit them to two possible outfit options.
Check the schedule on the fridge
It’s worth having a schedule pinned to the fridge that clearly outlines weekly activities. That way, if an older child needs to remember a sports bag or return a library book it is a clear reminder to them (and you) to follow it up.
Tips for the morning
Juggling your needs and the demands of your family can be a challenge. You need to assess what works best for your family dynamic. If it means getting up 15 minutes before your kids, then that is often worth doing so you can get dressed and make your bed in peace.
If you are a parent to a little one under a year old you may need to feed and settle them first before you can attend to your own needs. Babies and small children are often prone to very early morning starts. This is a good time to encourage them to settle back to sleep. If this is not possible, then ensure they are fed and clean so that you can take some much needed time to get dressed and feed yourself.
Alternatively, if your little ones are slow starters in the morning, you may need to set some timers to make sure that everything gets done properly.
What does matter is how you manage the morning. If you are a stressed out parent then your little one is likely to play up to that. Some chores can be dull and repetitive. However, if you get grumpy about packing plates in the dishwasher or emptying the bin, you are sending the same negative message to your kids. You are clearly showing them that chores are not something to enjoy or feel a sense of achievement in completing.
A more effective strategy is to remain as positive as you can while doing them. You may need to turn the radio up a bit louder or use the time to do some mental planning for the day ahead. Just remember, your attitude sets the tone for other family members as well.
Get dressed and make your bed
If possible get up before your little ones and do these tasks first. Remember to put on an old t-shirt over your top so that you avoid any splashes or spills at breakfast.
It’s really important to make time to eat and for your little ones to see you eating as well. You are not only looking after your own nutritional needs, you are also modelling good eating habits for your kids.
Hair and skincare
If you are racing the morning, have a mirror in the hallway and an ice cream tub containing a hairbrush and any other items you need. That way you can do these tasks while your little ones are in a clear line of sight for you at all times.
No TV or electronics
Skip the phone and internet and do not allow the television to be switched on until everyone is ready. It’s useful to make this the reward sometimes.
You may like to break up the morning into allocated time slots. For instance one timer for 7:15 means everyone has had breakfast and a timer at 7:45 means it is time to head out the door.
Depending on age, get your little one involved, set up a routine especially if you need to head out the front door by a certain time. Little ones tend to thrive on routines. They like knowing what is expected of them and what is happening next. Set up visual reminder charts for your little one about the tasks they need to do in the morning.
It is great to encourage your kids to get themselves organised in the morning. The sooner they start to develop these skills, the better it is for them and for you. Little kids like to copy what their parents are doing, so assigning them some tasks to do will usually be appreciated. However, you know your little one best so choose things you know they will be able to achieve and remember to praise them for carrying them out.
These tasks are ones suitable for specific age groups, however they may need monitoring and assistance with some of these chores as well.
2-3 year olds
4-5 year olds