Raising children isn’t easy, and there are so many differing opinions on how to do so. It’s worth bearing in mind though, that your job as a parent is not only to make your child feel loved and valued, but to ultimately teach your child to be independent. So by installing good habits early on, you will stand them in good stead for the future.
Many parents find that a key battle ground revolves around getting ready in the morning. Your young child may dawdle, or flatly refuse to get ready properly in time for school. So tackling this problem head on will make your morning routine easier.
Read on for some helpful tips to reduce the morning panic and stop the stress.
Helping your Child Dress
Often young children are reluctant to dress at all, or will pick out unsuitable items. Wearing their cute Lelli Kelly sparkly shoes for school or a muddy walk obviously isn’t going to be appropriate! However, children do like to choose what they are wearing, so organising things so they can pick out the correct items themselves gives them the choice they need, while enabling them to choose correctly.
Some good tips for this include:
- Discuss the weather with your child when dressing. Ask them if it’s hot, sunny, cold, or wet and discuss what would be best rather than simply telling them.
- Separate clothing. For example, uniform drawers and weekend drawers can help them distinguish between school clothing and weekend clothing. You can label them with pictures, for example, a ball and a pony for the weekend, and a pen and pencil for school.
- Help them lay out their clothes the night before. This will teach them to choose their clothing correctly, and to be prepared.
Encouraging a reluctant child to get ready is time consuming and frustrating. The following rules will help structure your mornings and avoid arguments, tantrums and panic.
- Routine is everything. Establishing a firm routine in the morning will help your child understand what’s expected of them. Don’t include unnecessary tasks such as feeding rabbits at this stage – simply concentrate on the breakfast, dressing and gathering school equipment first.
- Allow them enough time to dress. If it really does them take 20 minutes, try and schedule this in to the morning routine.
- Do not allow TV. Morning TV will only make them forget what they’re meant to be doing. Ban it, or use it as a reward for being ready.
- Make a chart. On it, you can set out the morning routine in words and pictures so they remember what they need to do.
- Don’t insist on your child doing something they simply can’t do. If they can’t tie their laces properly, show them again in the evening when everything is calmer.
- Stay calm and don’t nag. If your child is still dawdling, give them some help with a specific job such as finding their shoes, but tell them that tomorrow you expect them to do it themselves.
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Rob Rudd is a family man with many years experience of getting the children ready for school. He is also a professional writer and enjoys the opportunity to share is experiences.