We have all been there. Getting children ready for school on time can be a challenge. If you are anything like me you will morph into scratched record nagging mum each morning and then drop the kids off, or leave for work with a cloud of guilt hanging over you. I mean, seriously, how many times do we need to ask a human being to put their shoes on before they actually go…. and put on…. said shoes?? My record is 12 times. I know, I counted! That is how much it was beginning to get on my mammaries.
In an attempt to install some independence in our easily distracted 7 year old, I had the genius idea of printing out a flow chart from the internet. She liked this idea and the pure satisfaction of ticking off her morning worked for her. This however was only a momentary relief as she got distracted one day when she should have been finding school socks in her drawer, and we have not seen it since. Death to the flow chart.
So one particular ‘If I have asked you once, I have asked you a thousand times’ mornings, I reached the end of my tether. Something had to change. And change it has and it was simple. As an adult I get great satisfaction from ticking off things on my ‘to do’ list, and it turns out that kids love the satisfaction too.
It’s not complicated
I write down each ‘getting ready’ job on a Post-it in order of how we role in our house. Armed with her choice colour of highlighter she whizzes through the list, highlighting like a good ‘un. If she completes the list early she gets to watch a little TV as a treat. Something that she never had time to do. Let me tell you, it is bliss. I can leisurely get breakfast ready, do the packed lunches, take time to do her hair rather than send her in like Worzel Gummidge in a ponytail and re-direct her by asking how many things she has highlighted should I sense a distraction a’comin her way.
Of course, there is the odd morning that a distraction sends her off course (sometimes you just have to make the whole family a paper fan and decorate it), but on the whole it has made for a calmer, more positive morning, resulting in a happy drop off and a guilt cloud free morning. What is not to love?
The power is in the highlighter people, the power is in the highlighter!
How do you cope with mornings? Have you tried anything similar? If not, try it. It may just change your life… or your mornings at least! Please let me know how you get on.
Thanks for reading,