"Providing you with tips and expert advice on helping your child get ready for Big School"
Tick tock, tick tock, the school day morning begins.. Rush rush, lunchboxes, raincoats, OH NO! someone is wearing sandals and not shoes. ‘Where’s my tennis racket?' shouts one. ‘MUM can we do a spelling test revision now?' the other screams..’ OOPS.. the little one’s dropped the bowl of cereal…. This is a typical school day morning at my house.
I have multi-tasked to the umpteenth level, my nerves are more frayed than my daughter’s ballet tights and I am very close to screaming like a banshee! Tick tock.
The following tips will give you some helpful hints on how to alleviate some of the stress and make your mornings run smoother and sweeter.
1. First of all it is understood that bad behaviour can stem from kids who have not had enough sleep. Make it a priority to make sure your children receive the adequate amount of sleep. Early bedtimes mean happy and rested kids in the morning.
2. To make life easier in the mornings, do all the prep work the night before. Lay out clothes, pack school bags, fill water bottles etc. Get your kids to pack their extra curricular bags the night before, this helps to figure out which child has what for the day. I learnt this the hard way when my son took his sister’s ballet outfit to his swimming class. He was not amused.
3. Have a ‘HELP BOX’, which is a box with extra pencils, erasers, change for tuck shop, needle and thread, anything that you can think of that might be needed quickly and urgently during the morning chaos. I would keep it in a central place for quick and easy access. It is definitely a lifesaver when buttons fall out at the last minute.
4. However difficult it is to enforce, children do enjoy organised routines. Create a chart that has the following activities – Brush teeth, get dressed, comb hair, make bed, eat breakfast, put on shoes. Put the chart up in your kitchen and make it a challenge for the children, to see who will finish first, reward accordingly. This can keep easily distracted kids focused.
5. Try and make breakfast as simple as possible. School day breakfast in our house usually consists of cereal, yoghurt, fruit, cheese and milk. Anything that is easy and quick for the children to eat. The lengthy breakfast of kiribath and stringhoppers are left to enjoy over the weekends.
6. Despite how much I cherish my sleep I find that getting up a bit earlier before my children and having fifteen minutes of quiet, alone time does wonders and gets me ready for the day. I don’t feel irritated, I’ve packed lunchboxes whilst I was having my tea and I am ready and prepared to deal with the kids, all with a smile.
7. Most importantly STAY CALM. Your anxiety and frustration sometimes has the effect of making your children move in slow-motion. We have all been there when we throw out the guide to good parenting and end up shouting and screaming to get anything done.
With your little toddlers now ready for big school, your weekday mornings will be delightfully noisy, busy and chaotic. The trick is to learn how to roll with the punches and make the best of the situation.
"As a mother with four children from the ages of 3 to 12, my weekday mornings can get very stressful. I have learnt to be prepared beforehand, then there is less chaos, less disgruntled children and a better tempered self!" - Mayuri Jayasinghe, mom of 4
"From one mother to another, I know how hectic the weekday morning routine of getting kids out of bed and into school is. We do it for almost 200 days of the year, day in day out, we are troopers. Everyday knowingly, we face the recurring battles and emerge victorious." - Mayuri Jayasinghe, mom of 4
Text by Mayuri Jayasinghe