Morning Chaos?

Having a hard time getting out the door in the morning?

Life can be very chaotic sometimes, especially on a week day, when it is morning time and you have 1, 2, 3 or more children getting ready for school. You have to get out the door to get to work on time and get them on time to school with clothes on, homework done and lunches ready.

Well, let's solve this problem. Here are some live saver phases that we can use with our children to get ready in the morning with more peace, using this time as a teachable moment instead of screaming and yelling which leads to starting our mornings stressed out and feeling bad about loosing our cool. 

These phrases will work if you really want to put the time and effort into changing your morning routine, so I recommend following these steps before you start:

1. Talk to your children about your plan, days before you start. You can gather the family together and say: 

Example: You know, I am having a very hard time in the morning. It is very stressful for me to get out of the door when we are not all ready to go. I get frustrated to have to repeat myself many times and I don't see a result. I don't like to yell, or be upset. We are a family. We need to treat each other with respect. If we all help to get ready on time we will have a peaceful morning and we will all start our days happy. What do you guys think about this? Should we all work together to make this important part of our day better?

Ask your children about suggestions: They will have some ideas that may help. But also ask what will happen if their ideas don't work. Children like to find solutions, and this will put them in charge of the situation. They like to be in control and that is ok. 

 Important: Follow up. If the family agrees with ideas the children have and everyone is  willing to cooperate and do it then follow up with the idea. But also follow up with the consequences that the children proposed. You can come up with ideas too and see if your children agree. 

Question Ideas: Do you need to get up earlier in the morning so you have more time? Should we get the clothes ready the night before? Should we go to sleep earlier, so we can get up earlier and have more time? Should we pre-cook easy breakfast? Do you want me to give you choices for breakfast the night before, so you know what to expect and eat it better? Should we put a timer to eat breakfast, so we know how much time is left before we get in the car? Do you want to have 10 minutes to play or reed a book together before we go if we are ready on time?

 The bottom line: If you agree on something with your kids follow up and follow through.

2. The first week or two, be prepared to spend more time than usual with them, going through the steps of the morning so they get used to the change and know the routine. For example: Stay in their room while they get dressed, not to do get them dressed, but just to be there so they know they have to complete the task. Sit and have breakfast with them so they eat their food and don't get distracted with something else. Be there in the process to get their shoes, jackets on and get in the car. You may have to get ready before them for this to happen, but if you invest in these 2 weeks … your children will have a routine and may start do in it by themselves better.

3. Take a lot of deep breaths, don't let the situation control your emotions, try to talk to them calmly. Tap their shoulder and go to their level if you feel they are not paying attention. Talk about how this was an agreement. And yes, sometimes you will have to say: I can see you are having a hard time getting ready, so I am going to pick you up and put you in the car without shoes! 

Remember: Give a lot of positive feed back if they cooperate. Point out how helpful they are being for the family and follow up with that too.

Getting out the door phrases:

  1. I can see you are having a hard time getting to the door. Is there any way I can help you?

  2. Do you want to finish getting dressed here or at school? (talk to your teachers about that before, some preschools are very supportive and be fine helping you with this)

  3. I see you are dressed, you ate breakfast, what is next?

  4. What is the first thing you are going to do when you get to school today?

  5. It will be very helpful for the family if we are all ready at the same time. How Can we make that happen?

  6. What do you need in case it is cold at the playground today? Do you want to wear it or carry it ?

  7. Are you going to eat your breakfast now, so you have energy for the day? or are you waiting until is time for a snack at school?

  8. (If is an option) Do you want to finish breakfast here or at school? 

  9. It looks like you are getting very distracted with your toys today. Do you need any help to get ready?

  10. Let's see who will get in the car first today.

  11. (If its possible) If we are all ready on time, we will have time to spend 10 minutes at the swing at school before I leave to work.

  12. What kind of music do you want to listen to in the car on the way to school today?

  13. (Get some audio books from the library) I have some stories we can listen to in the car on the way to school, hurry up, I can't wait to hear them…

I hope these tips help you to have a smoother morning with your children and start your day more calm. If you have any questions, suggestions or need help with this situation go to the comment section and share your experience!

Have a wonderful day!