“School will soon be back is session, and busy days will be even more hectic! We all try to be better organized, especially in the mornings. It’s never our intention to forget the class treats or forget to dress our children in their school colors on school spirit day. Most of the time, we’re just so busy that becoming organized can feel like another item on our to-do list,” states Tonya Millard, Director of Crossing Rivers Health Family Resource Center.
She adds, “There’s no right way to get organized. You simply need to be able to find what you need when you need it in order to get the job done. For working parents, one of the greatest organizational challenges is simply getting out of the house on time in the morning.”
What should our hectic morning goal be? Not to have a lavish breakfast or a lengthy family meeting, but just to get everyone dressed with lunches, backpacks, and briefcases in hand – always leaving time for a quick story, song, hug, and a “have a great day” greeting!
Unfortunately, young children have no sense of time, and they quickly come to believe that the definition of hurry is Mommy and Daddy are getting cranky. So what can we do?
If after encouraging and coaxing, our children fail to produce the desired results, and we resort to nagging and pleading, our children may learn that we spend more time focusing on them during times of resistance than during times of cooperation. Mornings like this leave us frustrated, exhausted and discouraged.
Family Resource Center offers these ideas to help you organize and experience less hectic mornings:
- Prepare as much as possible the night before. Pick out clothes for the next day, including yours. If possible, pick out clothes for the entire week on Sunday night. Include underwear, socks and even hair accessories for girls.
- Keep items in the same location. Place backpacks and briefcases by the door with homework and office work packed inside. Know what shoes everyone will be wearing and place those by the door. Looking for lost shoes at the last minute makes everyone frantic.
- Get up earlier if you’re always running late. A few extra minutes of sleep may seem like the best way to cope with the morning rush, but those minutes can make the difference between hectic and hurried.
- Have a consistent morning routine. Children are more cooperative and more comfortable when they know what to expect.
- Have a “first this, then this” policy. Younger children may not have a sense of time, but they do understand sequence. Create little reminders such as “You may not go downstairs until you are dressed” or “You may play after breakfast.”
- Don’t expect miracles. Children approach life with a more relaxed, slower pace than we do, and we could all take a lesson from that. Even with seemingly flawless plans, unexpected events can always happen.
For additional information and resources available for your family at Family Resource Center, call (608) 357-2135. The Center is located at 800 East Taylor Street in Prairie du Chien. Families are also encouraged to be a friend on Facebook to learn about upcoming events and activities.