Taking the stress out of the morning routine

As we head back to school this Term, we want to share a few tips for helping to make your morning routine a little less stressful.

  1. Prep the night before – if there’s anything you can do the night before to give both you and your kids less things to do in the morning when you’re short on time. Things like making sure bags and lunch boxes are ready to be packed (and packing what you can, making sure clothes/uniforms are ready to go. It’s great to involve your child in these tasks too – and changes are, by doing them the night before you won’t be as rushed and can take time to do it slower with your child helping.
  2. Use a visual schedule – this can be of help to everyone! By providing visuals (or even just a to do list) that can be ticked off/crossed off/removed give children independence in getting themselves ready, but also helps keep everyone focused and on task (we all know that when we are trying to rush it’s easy to forget things – this way you’re not going to get everyone in the car and realise that someone forgot to brush their teeth).
  3. Set the alarm – make the morning routine, including when you get up a habit. We need to string cues together to make habits form and stick. A great way to start turning your morning routine into a habit is to start with a clear cue, like an alarm.
  4. Stretched for time? – If you’re stretched for time, it’s not the right time to expect your child to learn a new skill. Getting ready for school requires us to be able to do so many things as a kid. If you’re trying to get out of the house and are pushed for time, it’s not the time to be expecting your child to do everything in their morning routine for themselves, or to try and teach your child to do tie their shoelaces. When teaching children these skills we need to have time to help set them up for success so they have a positive experience to associate with the task. The best thing to do if you’re pushed for time is to help your child to complete the tasks they need to, so everyone can get out of the house feeling positive and ready to take on the day.

If you would like to work on your child’s morning routine, executive functioning, or even the individual skills that make up the routine, chat to their OT to make a plan.

We hope everyone has a really positive start to the school year.