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Hassle-Free Mornings!

Just about any morning for a family with school-age children can be a tricky balancing act, but especially weekday mornings. Scrambling to find homework, rushing to make breakfast and solving fashion disasters as the clock ticks away can add a lot of unnecessary stress. Chaotic mornings can result in tempers flaring and being late for school or work. Sound familiar? It doesn’t have to be this way. Bring peace and harmony back to your mornings with a little prep the night before and a new morning routine. Follow these seven simple habits for a better, calmer morning.

In the evening

1. Check the school’s activity calendar for each of your children, review your work schedule and don’t forget the weather report. If it is ‘library day’ tomorrow, have your child find the book tonight to avoid a last-minute scramble as you’re heading out the door. Your big project presentation is tomorrow. Get everything ready so you can breathe easier in the morning. The forecast is calling for possible rain. Prepare by laying out rain gear for the whole family.

2. Get out everyone’s lunch boxes and snacks and prepare lunches. Don’t forget to fill up drink bottles. Preparing food the night before saves precious time the next morning.

3. Get your kids into the habit of packing their backpacks. For younger kids, do a double check for homework, schoolbooks, permission slips and school papers. The packed lunchboxes, drink bottles and snacks can be added in the morning. If there is no lunch to add, consider putting their backpacks in the car, so they are ready to go.

4. In the kitchen, select what’s on the breakfast menu. Place all the non-perishable breakfast food items like cereal, granola bars and bagels on the counter. Line up bowls, plates and the necessary utensils. Having all the choices sitting on the countertop, your older kids can easily see what is available, and it will prompt them to make their own breakfast.

5. Since you have checked the weather report, your kids can make their own wardrobe decisions. Inform your kids about the next day’s weather, so they make their choices and lay out what they want to wear on their dresser. Clothing choices are a way a child can showcase their individual style, so this could lead to multiple outfit changes. Making this important decision at night will save precious morning minutes.

6. Pad your morning time by adjusting bedtimes and alarm clocks by 10 minutes. Go to bed 10 minutes earlier, so everyone can get up 10 minutes earlier. These 10 crucial minutes gives you the extra cushion if an unexpected delay occurs from burnt toast to missing
car keys.

In the morning

7. Restrict the television, computer and video games in the morning. Kids tend to zone out in front of the television or get totally engrossed in winning a game on an electronic device. Play relaxing music instead so everyone has a calmer state of mind to start their day.

Successful mornings set the tone for the day. Begin incorporating these seven new habits. Adjust them to suit your family’s style and watch your mornings turn into smooth beginnings.

Sara is a freelance writer, and mother of two daughters.



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