Getting the kids out the door

boy asleep in bed

Am I the only one struggling to get the kids to school on time?

Here’s the scene. After being woken twice overnight because of ‘bad dreams’ from my five year old, my seven year old pulls me out of bed at 6am to look for the missing light from his new Lego tanker. You know how small those Lego pieces are. It’s well beyond the needle in the haystack analogy.

So, after many minutes of scouring around the bedroom floor I find the missing item. Before I have a chance to climb back into bed, my five year old gets up and they start playing together. The ensuing noise ruins any chance of further sleep, so I attempt to start the breakfast routine.

girl eating breakfast

‘Let’s have breakfast now so you are not late for school!’ I don’t know how many times I have said those words. It’s the first of many warnings. I eventually get them to the table. Whilst they start on their cereal I eat mine standing, whilst making their lunches. By the time they are dressed, teeth brushed and hair brushed (and plaited) it’s ten minutes before the school bell rings.

Is there any way to make the whole experience less stressful? This is what’s worked for me, but I am on the lookout for other suggestions.

1. Sleep. Make sure everyone gets to bed at a reasonable time. If your child needs to be woken up to get to school they are not getting enough sleep.

2. One-on-one time. Everyone needs some time to transition from sleeping to getting ready for school. Allow at least 5 minutes ‘snuggle time’ or one-on-one time with each child before the craziness starts. You are more likely to get a co-operative child if you connect with them emotionally first.

3. Get sildenafil citrate 20 mg yourself ready first (or at least three quarters of the way there). I’m convinced the natural state of young children when they first wake up is to play. So I use this time to get dressed myself before the breakfast routine kicks off.

4. once a day cialis reviews Do as much as possible the night before. It may seem obvious, but lay the table for breakfast the night before, make sure uniforms are ironed, lunch boxes are started and homework/readers/projects/lunch money are all ready and organised.

star shaped sandwich

5. Establish a morning routine. To help with this, stick a post-it-note on the bathroom mirror or somewhere your children can see a list of what is expected of them. Don’t underestimate the time it takes for each activity – kids don’t move as fast as adults, so allow plenty of time. Our list looks like this;
a. Have breakfast
b. Get dressed
c. Make bed and put pyjamas under the pillow
d. Brush teeth
e. Pack bag

As the kids get older, hopefully I won’t need this list at all and they will just do it all without being prompted – that’s the theory anyway.

6. Aim to be at school 10 minutes early. I’ve set the kitchen clock ten minutes fast, fully expecting that something will make us miss out target. That way we leave 10 minutes earlier, allowing for a little dawdling on the way to school (we ride our bikes).

7. Remove distractions. Screen time is only allowed if there is time to spare and they are absolutely ready to leave for school. It can serve as a nice reward too.

As you can tell from the picture I have painted, I am still a long way from perfecting the routine. We do occasionally miss the school bell, much to my embarrassment. If you have any secret ingredients that gets your kids to the school gate on time I’d love to hear them

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