It feels like you just fell asleep and now your alarm is blaring. And the rush begins. You're rushing into the shower, trying to get dressed, making breakfast, packing lunches and trying to get your little one ready for daycare—all at the same time. Even though your time-starved day starts with a mad dash to get your kiddo off to child care, it's possible to slow things down and make the most out of your morning routine. How can you turn those hectic weekday mornings into enjoyable moments that actually offer bonding opportunities with your child? Check out these tips for making the pre-drop off time a special part of your day.
Your child doesn't need to sit on the sidelines as you rush around getting everything ready for the day. Let her help. At least, let her help as much as she can (and on a level that is appropriate for her developmental abilities and skills). This may mean letting your preschooler spread jelly on the sandwiches you're packing for lunch, asking your older toddler to sort socks by color or having your almost-kindergartener help your younger child to get dressed.
Not only will this cut down on the work you're doing, but it gives you some added "mommy and me" time. Along with the bonding factor, these little chores provide your child with a sense of pride in her accomplishments and help her to feel like she plays an essential part in your family's structure.
Getting Ready Games
Your child is dawdling. Again. Should it really take a half an hour for her to put on a pair of socks. No, it should not. What's she doing anyways? Well, chances are that she's getting sidetracked by just about anything else. She's curious, likes to play and couldn't care less about your time schedule. Constantly scolding her for being too slow or reminding her to "hurry up" won't get you the results you're looking for. Aside from her still snail-like behavior, you'll feel like the world's worst parent for yelling every morning.
Break the slow cycle with a getting-ready-for-daycare game (or a few). For example, set out her clothes in random places around her room. Then have her race (you can time her with your cell phone's stopwatch) around getting dressed. Come up with a few creative games that challenge your child to move quicker, focus on the task at hand or get her up and moving in a way that interests her.
Everything is more fun with music. Right? Pick a few upbeat tracks that have quick tempos. As your child gets ready, play the music. She may just move faster. You can also add in silly dance steps (that both of you do together) to transition from one morning activity to the next.
Don't stress about the morning rush to get ready and get your child out the door to daycare. With a few family-fun activities and some creative problem-solving you can turn this time into something that's game-filled and primed for plenty of bonding moments.
For more information or advice, contact a school such as Mountainside School.