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Good Mornings and Good Nights

Mornings in most homes is absolute chaos. Mine used to be no different.

create a routine to help kids get ready for school

Change is good

5 years ago I changed jobs and started working more reasonable hours. Mornings for me where a nightmare of disorganisation. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/blog/morning-routine/

Everyone rushing around at the last minute looking for missing books, shoes, lunches, etc. http://kasheringyourlife.co.za/routine-mornings/

For some reason when our children are babies we get a routine going. As they get older and start nursery school or even primary school, the routine we developed dissappears.

Here are some simple tips to help your mornings flow.

Setting up your routine

Set a specific time that each person needs to be up. This is based on how long it takes to get everyone dressed, so it is often age dependent.

Once you have established a time, for example 6:30, make it 15 minutes earlier. The reason for this is that they can then ask for another 5 minutes and you can say yes. Making you a nice parent.

When my brother and I were little, we were terrible at getting dressed for school. Our nanny decided instead of fighting to get us to the table for breakfast, she would bring breakfast to us. I am not sure if it worked or not.

My children come to the kitchen. Not that they actually eat breakfast but occasionally they are hungry enough for a bowl of cereal.

Now that I only have 2 children left in school, mornings are a little easier. Make no mistake, a 15-year-old can be as difficult to get ready as a 3- year -old!

The school my girls go to doesn’t have a uniform. Getting ready in the morning can take up to 4 changes of outfits!

Packing the night before can avoid the mornings filled with anxiety over missing books

Lost baggage

Reminding them to pack or re-pack their bags is often a lost cause. Inevitably something is missing just as it is time to leave for school. The earlier you start incorporating bag checks at night the better luck you will have of getting out of the house on time.

Our school finishes at one thirty, so I have decided that if they leave their lunch boxes at home in the morning, it is too bad!

Later days

We don’t have extra murals at school so they won’t go hungry. For those with children who stay at school longer and who seem to regularly forget there lunch, I solved that problem with my husband’s lunch box. I stick it in the bag myself!

An evening routine is as important as a morning routine. There is nothing worse than ending your day with a shouting match about cellphones (for older children) and bedtimes.

Evening routines

When the children were small, I learnt a neat little tip. The same as you give them that extra 15 minutes in the morning. Give them the 15 minutes at night.

How this worked was 15 minutes before bath time I would go and tell them to start packing up or finishing what they were doing. I would then go back after 5 minutes and give a 10 minute warning and then a 5 minute warning. Occasionally this didn’t always work but my successes out did my failures.

This worked for bed time too. Even now as teenagers they get a 15 minute warning for bed time. This gives them time to say good night to all the friends on social media.

We have a wonderful app for the phones called ‘Screen Time’. One of its features is that you can set bedtimes and lights. You can also choose what time they wake up. The phone then allows limited access between bedtime and lights out. After lights out, it blocks all access to the phone. They can’t even check messages, the phone is ‘frozen’ till morning.

For the morning, they get 15-minute access to catch up. The phone then locks for 30 minutes, this is for getting ready and eating breakfast.

Any chores or tasks that need doing can be added to the screen time schedule. The phone is unlocked by the parent once the task or chore is done.

Introducing a routine into our home even as late as we did has definitely shown benefits. It is not always successful. We do encounter a little resistance but for the most part everyone has gone along.

Do you have a routine for your mornings or evenings?

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