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How to Reduce Morning Chaos: Part 1
With school back in swing it is that time of year again where we parents start pulling our hair out making sure that everything is done in the rush to get out the door in the morning. But life doesn’t have to be so hectic. In fact, mornings can be a calm affair with a relaxed atmosphere setting the tone for the day. All it takes is a little advanced planning and some organization.
In order to have a smooth morning, you and your family must start the night before. I’ll write a series of hubs addressing steps that can be taken to help get you and your children out the door drama free. If you incorporate these steps into your night time routine, they will become second nature and before long, your mornings will thank you for it.
Pick out clothes the night before
Picking out outfits the night before can greatly reduce morning squabbles. Parents are already under a time crunch in the morning worrying about carpools or bus schedules and children are often not awake enough to make fuss free decisions. Therefore, by picking out the outfits the night before, hassles are lessened. You can even turn this into a fun and/or educational opportunity. If you have little ones, make picking out clothes a game. This has two benefits. First, you make the experience something to enjoy rather than another chore that has to be accomplished. Second, you can direct the youngster to appropriate weather related clothes or to those that match. For example, you can tell your child that it is supposed to be cold tomorrow and then ask, “What type of shirt might work best to keep you warm?” Or, you can play clothes hide-and-seek by telling your child to find a pair of long pants in a certain color.
For older children, there are a couple of different options that can turn the event into an educational one. First, I suggest getting a digital thermometer designed for kids. The easy to read display has a picture of a kid, and his clothes and accessories are weather appropriate. In colder weather he is all bundled up. If it is supposed to rain, he has his umbrella. The displays show all sorts of useful information that gets kids interested in learning more about the weather. A second option is allowing kids to be the official family meteorologist. You can rotate on a weekly basis if necessary. This meteorologist is in charge of finding out the forecast and reporting it to the family. This can occur over dinner or before starting a bedtime routine. The designated person can use the internet, TV, or other convenient device to receive his or her information and then report back to the family and even offer clothing suggestions.
The important aspect regarding picking out clothes the night before is that all elements, pants, shirts, shoes, sweaters, hair bands, etc. need to be in one spot and ready to be put on in the morning. If you designate a spot, and the clothes are there, your child will know where to go in the morning to get dressed.