That there’s a huge transition for every family when summer comes to an end is certainly no exaggeration. While some parents depend on their children to ease into the new schedules on their own, others are frantically running after them with all sorts of left-behinds and forgotten homework.
It doesn’t have to be this messy, though, and you can still enjoy calm mornings even when it’s back to the old routines.
Here are a handful of the best tips from experts out there to help your family back on track. It won’t make you wake up more rested and ready to start the day, but when everything else fails, at least you’ll know the bathroom is available.
Whether there’s any point to schools starting the day of learning at such a ridiculously early hour is a conversation for another post; today, we’re talking about preparing your children as early on as possible. You should still let them enjoy their time off, by all means, but start to wake them up a bit earlier when it’s about two weeks until school starts.
Even if you’re the parent of the sleepiest child in the classroom, they’ll still benefit from easing into the early routines rather than leaping into it. You can prepare your child by telling them school starts in a week as much as you like; if you don’t make them change their morning habits a week in advance, you’ll never see that easy transition you’re looking for.
By the time the school bell actually rings for the first time of the season, they’ll be a lot more awake and prepared to learn. And if you didn’t pull it off this year, you know what you’re doing next September.
When your children are above the age of eight, they’ll easily be able to help out with preparing breakfast. Set the table for breakfast when you’ve tidied up after dinner, make sure the cabinets are stacked with accessible foods they can eat quickly, and let them arrange the rest as they please.
Not only does it take some of the stress off your shoulders, as a parent, but it teaches them that feeding themselves and getting up in the morning is their responsibility.
Some parents are much too concerned and generally a bit too eager to help their children out with everything. At the end of the day, it will only make the responsibilities pile up on your plate – while they’re teaching their children nothing at all.
They’ll have learned their lesson after rushing into the classroom a couple of times, with only half a banana digested as they had to eat it on the go. Give them eggs instead, by the way, and let them save that banana for lunch.
Plan a bathroom schedule
Put an end to the early bathroom wars once and for all by agreeing to a bathroom schedule. Whoever starts first should, obviously, be up in time to use the bathroom before the rest. When they miss their slot, they need to wait for the rest to finish, just like it is with any other appointment one agrees to in real life.
It should be logical and fair to avoid arguments; if your daughter claims that she needs half an hour more than your son, treat her to a vanity mirror in her bedroom, and the problem is solved. You really only need the bathroom to clean yourself and use the toilet – anything else can be done in front of a mirror and, finally, out of the bathroom.
Dual sinks make it a lot easier for two people to brush their teeth at the same time too, by the way, so have a look at this website and consider upgrading your bathroom a bit. Focus on functionality, bathe it in natural light to wake everyone up as fast as possible, and add a few plants to liven things up a bit.
It might make them want to spend a lot more time in the bathroom, but at least you’ll know that they’re all clean before heading off to school.
Pack an emergency kit
Although I’m not approving of any parent hovering over their children to make them finish up on time or even chasing after them with whatever they left behind, you can pack an emergency kit to keep in the car if you drive them to school.
Fill it with everything they tend to forget which usually has them rushing back into the house five minutes after leaving; a few cereal bars, a hairbrush, floss, and sun lotion, for example.
When you’ve given them all the tools to succeed and even provided them with a neat emergency kit for when you drive them to school, you can confidently ignore that text about having forgotten something. Another textbook left at home again? Sorry to hear that.
Play upbeat music
The mornings your family spend together is a ritual, no matter how stressed-out and frantic it may appear. Fill the kitchen with some music while you’re all getting ready, have a laugh, and dance around a bit if you’ve had a good night’s rest – when you’re out the door a bit later, it will be with much more energy and in a much better mood.
Let your children choose what kind of music you should play, by the way; you don’t want to be one of those parents who play classical music at all times, despite everyone’s protests.
It’s a good way to declare that the morning as begun to the entire household, by the way, and you can tell them that by the time they hear this specific song, it’s out of the bathroom and breakfast time.
Your mornings are what you make of them, and by preparing as much as possible the night before, you’ll all be able to enjoy calmer mornings together.
Fill it with a sturdy bathroom schedule and fun music for waking up, and you’ll see your kids out the door in no time – lunch prepared and breakfast completed, with no need to rush whatsoever.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.