Getting The Kids Ready For School
Getting the day started in our house is a daily exercise in communication! I really dislike being stressed out in the morning. Instead, I prefer to start my day calmly with a cup of tea.
I try to get up before anyone else so that I can have quiet time to myself. Sometimes I read, sometimes, I exercise, sometimes, I catch up on work. If it’s a nice day, I like to sit outside and enjoy my garden.
Once my children (two six year-olds) wake up at 6:45 am it’s another two hours until they leave the house to catch the bus. I use a checklist to help me keep my sanity. For us, it’s has made things easier. Since I ask the same things everyday, my kids know the list mostly by heart.
My friend Larissa asked if I’d share the checklist with her. So I figured I share it with you too. But before you read my checklist, how do you keep you sanity in the morning?
- Did you brush your teeth with the timer?
- Did you comb your hair?
- Did you straighten up your room?
- Did you make the bed?
- Did you clean your ears (they got their ears pierced recently)
- Do you have gym or library today? (Do you have your sneakers? Your books?)
- Do you have your glasses? Are they clean?
- Do you have your shoes on?
(Sometimes I ask silly questions too, like do you have your bones, do you have your ears? do you have your ankles?…this usually gets a giggle.)
- Do you have your coat?
- Do you have your backpack?
- Do you have your lunch?
- Do you have your homework?
- Do you have anything else you need to turn in today?
- Do you have your water bottle?
- Did you take your vitamins?
I ask that my kids are ready for school a full 40 minutes before the bus arrives. Usually it ends up being more like 30 minutes. During that time, they sit and quietly read or draw, while I finish cleaning up breakfast. Having this “extra” time works out well for us.
About five minutes before the bus, we go through the final checklist:
- Do you have your respect and dignity? (I hear in stereo, “Yeeesss…”)
- Do you have your compassion and empathy? (Again, in stereo, “Yeeesss…)
- Will you help another person today? ( I’ll try…)
- Most importantly, do you have love in your heart? (Yeeessssss!! Of course!)
Before they leave I hug and kiss them. I tell them that I am proud of them and that I love them. If I’m lucky to get a smile; I take a mind picture, and savor the image as they step onto the bus and pull away.
If you’ve got a communication trick or suggestion that helps your mornings go smoothly, please, please, please, post it below. I think we all could use a little help in the morning to help keep us sane.