The novelty of seeing their friends again after the long summer holiday has started to wear off, and morning meltdowns are becoming common once again. The good news is there are things you can do to help your children and yourself to start the day in a more positive and less stressful way.
Nagging No-No | There is nothing more likely to prompt a barrage of shouts and protests than constant requests to ‘clean your teeth’ or ‘brush your hair’. Try putting up a whiteboard, such as the magnetic version available from Argos. Involve your kids and use it to write down a list of all the activities or jobs they have to do before it is time to leave for school. Many children really enjoy being able to tick off each item as they accomplish it, and you don’t need to keep telling them what they need to do as it is written there in black and white.
Keep Calm and Be Prepared | Every parent knows it, but few admit that it is often their meltdowns that prompt some of the worst morning behaviour from their children. Yes, having to retrieve cornflakes from the carpet while mopping up milk and trying to feed the cat is enough to send the best parents wild, but once you start ranting it is likely that your children will too.
Try to minimise the morning madness by doing as much preparation as you can the night before, and get the children to help (even if it takes a sweet treat after tea to make them comply).
Make sure their school clothes are laid out ready for them to put on to stop the frantic hunt for matching socks, and have lunches made and put in the fridge. Storage pots such as the Vacuum Food Containers available from Isme will keep food perfectly fresh overnight.
Make sure that your children do not leave homework until the morning, and try to not create any unnecessary jobs for you to do either. Who cares if the cereal has to stay on the floor until you get home from work, or that the fish gets his meal at night instead of first-thing?
Limit the Choices | Get your children to decide the night before what they want for breakfast and what they want to wear. It sounds simple, but it is amazing how much trouble a simple choice or debate can cause when everyone is still tired and in a rush.