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How to get the kids into a school morning routine | Parenting

Getting the family up and out in the morning can be utter chaos and if you aren’t careful, you can find your stress levels peaking before you’ve even left the house. Forward planning and an effective routine can help ensure you meet the morning with a smile on your face without a few sharp words to the family.
Early to bed
Everyone functions better after a good night’s sleep so make sure your kids are in an age appropriate bedtime routine and are getting the sleep they need to get the best out of their day.
Pre-planning school lunches
There is nothing worse than opening the food cupboard at seven in the morning and realising there is nothing to put in your children’s lunch boxes. It may sound obvious but thinking about what the kids will have for lunch the evening before will give you time to think and do a little preparation. Salad vegetables can be chopped in advance, bread defrosted and if you’re feeling energetic you could even make a batch of sweet or savoury muffins. As your kids get older, get them involved in organising their own lunches.
Prioritise
Make sure the TV and computer stay off in the morning. With only a limited amount of time to get dressed, have breakfast, brush teeth and hair, and pack their school bags this will only delay things. Give your children reminders about what they need to do next to get ready, and let them know how much time they have left before they have to be out the door. This helps them get into a routine and to better manage their time.
Routine and habit
Try to find the most efficient and effective ways of getting everyone organised, and then establish that as a routine. If there isn’t time for everyone to have a shower in the morning, stick to pre-bed showers to free up the bathroom in the morning. Children can pack their school bags before bed and uniforms can be ironed in the evenings when you have more time.
Establishing an effective routine combined with a little pre-planning should help ensure everyone will begin the day in a happy frame of mind.

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