Morning tips to get the kids out of the door faster

As a mother of two children and grandmother of a 5 year old lovely girl, I can talk from experience about how challenging it can be to get the kids ready for school every morning, especially when the cold days are coming.

It is well known that children do best when they follow routines that are predictable and consistent.  But we all know that every morning is NOT by all means “predictable and consistent”. Kids wake up moody,  they refuse to get dress, your toddler takes forever to finish his/her cereal, or perhaps you forgot to set up the alarm clock or change the hour, in other words, getting out of the house can often seem like a difficult task.

Here are some tricks that helped me out to get my kids out of the door for school:

Tip 1: Get everything ready the night before

This is the first tip because it’s so effective. If you get ready the night before, you’ll have less to worry about when everything is chaotic the next morning. That means, if it’s a school night, everyone in the family — yes, even the parent(s) — should have: bathed or showered, laid out clothes, packed a lunch and packed any work or gym bags and kids’ backpacks — and make sure any homework or projects the kids need are actually inside their backpacks.

Make sure to include the socks and shoes.  There is always the lost shoe or sock, we can’t find in the morning.

Tip 2: Set clocks ahead or alarms for earlier than usual

Always give yourself the most time possible in the morning — even if it means sacrificing those precious 15 minutes of extra sleep. Set up your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier than we know we need to get out of bed. Try to go to bed earlier so you can wake up earlier.

You can also use a timer to keep everyone mindful of the exact time they need to be ready and at the door. Set one on your phone and tell everyone, “Be at the front door when this goes off in five minutes — or else!”

Tip 3: Turn it into a race to the finish

Some kids are motivated by competition. If they think they’ll get to be the winner just for being first — even if it means being first at getting their teeth brushed or their shoes on — they’ll do it, and they’ll do it fast.

Of course, this same competitive trick can be used to get kids to come the breakfast table, get their shoes on or buckle their cars eats or seat belts, too.

Tip 4: Come up with creative rewards

Simple, positive reinforcement in the form of extra playtime, stickers or other “rewards” can go a long way for kids.

Make calendars for each child, and give them stickers at the end of the day.  Give a prize at the end of the week/month to the child with most stickers.

The one who is first ready in the car will get to pick the music he/she chooses to.

Move breakfast to the last thing after everyone is dressed and ready to go.

Tip 5: Work as a team

Use teamwork to motivate everyone.  Work as a team with your host parents.  Ask host parents what works best with each child. A supportive team makes miracle happen.

Most importantly, DON’T GIVE UP.  With patience and love it can be done!!

Marta Pena – Au Pair Coordinator – Cultural Care Au Pair – Tel: 617-312-6880 – Email:

Friday, 21 September 2018 1:08 PM


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