When you combine the two phrases "morning time" and "back to school," the recipe is: chaos and madness, filled with rushing, racing and often (sadly) raising our voices to be sure our messages are heard, loud and clear: "Finish your breakfast. Get your shoes on. Brush your teeth. Grab your backpack. Now. Now. Now." But, what if your AM could run like a well-oiled machine a tightly-run ship of smiling faces, full bellies and neatly-dressed kids? While it may seem unlikely, we promise that these tips will shave minutes off your morning routine, stress from your overall aura and screaming, to boot.
Assign a Morning Mayor of the House
Make a chart with your kids and assign days to each child that he/she will be the "Mayor" of the morning. That child will help serve and clean-up breakfast, as well as choose specific things. It's a win-win to have an on-site helper, who also feels super special to start the day!
Keep Sipping Silly
Kids will scramble to the table when they see a 'stache straw in their morning glass of milk. Make each family member a different 'stache style, and let the giggles begin.
Chit-Chat While You Chew
Sit down with your kids -- even if it's only for 10 minutes -- to eat (role modeling is a must) and talk about what's happening that day. You'll be amazed how good it feels to just relax (really!) around the table before heading in a million different directions.
Embrace Evening Organizing
Pack backpacks and lunches, and choose the kids’ (and your own) clothes before hitting the hay each night. This will minimize fighting over things like wardrobe issues and missing homework in the AM. For older kids, let them know that helping you is key to garnering increased responsibility, so encourage them to pick their own clothing and get backpacks ready, too.
Live by Your List
Each night before bed, make a small checklist of things you must get done in the morning. This will help you remember the easily-forgotten items, as well as maximize your time.