With the festive period over, getting back in to the school routine can be a struggle for both children and parents. We ’ve put together some tips to help make school mornings less challenging
Prepare lunchboxes, PE kits, book bags, and school uniform the night before. It is always harder to try and remember everything in the morning and by preparing it the night before it avoids dashing around trying to find things that could cause you additional stress. It will also give you more time in the morning to focus on breakfast, washing, and getting dressed, which will reduce the chance of running late. Check that any homework has been completed the night before. This could avoid an argument in the morning if it hasn’t been done and placed in the school bag ready.
Get up early
Leave plenty of time for everyone to get up and ready. Think about how long it will realistically take to get ready in the morning and then give yourself an extra 15-25 minutes to allow for anything that may not go to plan. Make sure children know what time they need to get up and prompt them in the morning if they struggle.
Try and follow the same routine each morning so that children know what is expected of them and when. It will differ amongst households so sit down with your children and come up with your routine as a family. Sometimes children respond better to seeing it written down or in pictures, and can use it as a check list to remind them of what they need to do before school. It also helps parents to give prompts to remind children what step they should be doing, for example “Jon you have 5 minutes before you need to be dressed for breakfast at 8am”.
If children struggle with breakfast ensure it is at the same time each morning to help them get used to it in their routine. Giving children small choices about what to have for breakfast will also help, such as what jam to put on toast or what kind of cereal they would like. Getting up in plenty of time will also help breakfast to become a stress-free event and allow everyone enough time to eat before they leave.
If your morning routine isn’t working, review what works well and what you find stressful to help make adjustments.
Community Family Care, based at Staunton, Gloucestershire helps families, children and young people in need of additional support. It seeks to improve parents’ confidence, help with routines to get children to school, or more complex support dealing with challenging behaviours at home. The work its staff carry out includes peer mentoring and life coaches for young people, and family support programmes.
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