Welcome to Blog Number One!
I thought I’d dive right in with my first ever blog by looking at what must be one of the most stressful 30 minutes of a parent’s day.
We have all been there
We tumble out bed, stumble to the kitchen, and pour ourselves a cup of ambition but wait….(got carried away with Dolly there)FIRST! We have to “get them out!”
Here are some simple strategies for making sure your day starts right!
1. Introduce the concept of cooperation to your children as early as possible!
Use examples during times of low stress, “We will get to the park early if we all cooperate by putting our dishes in the dish washer and getting our coats on.” Children thrive when given independence so build in opportunities in your daily routines to let them do stuff for themselves.
2. This may sound obvious but setting out clothes for yourself and your little one the night before can really save time and reduce stress. Independence comes from making choices so let your child have a choice in almost everything they do. When it comes to clothes you could let them chose between 2 or 3 tops and bottoms each evening as part of their bedtime routine. If they insist on wearing blue with green-let it go!
3. If you need to send a lunch with any of your children, get them involved from day one. If they make their own lunch or at least have input they are much more likely to eat it. Having a shelf in the fridge (a low one) which has lunch options on it will make it easier. (We will look more at healthy eating habits in future blogs.)
4. Have your child tick his own check list each morning. For pre-reading age this can be a simple list with pictures of things to remind them what they have to do. As a weekend activity create a chart using pcitures from magazines or down loadables, for example a picture of a tooth brush, a hair brush, shoes or dishes in a dish washer.
5. 4. If you have a child who is reluctant to get dressed or otherwise cooperate, find a reward eg. 10 minutes of there favourite DVD once they have completed their self care tasks- be sure to warn them in advance when time is running out…….
6. If your child is a sleepy head in the morning consider some happy back ground music whilst they wake up- this shouldn’t be too loud or frenetic otherwise it just adds to the chaos, offering them a small drink of diluted fruit juice may give them the energy boost they need to get out of bed without being a grumpy head!
7. Some things are non negotiable, the key is to find fun ways to get them done in a way which makes your child feel they have input- so if getting dressed is the hurdle you could make a game of “Let’s count to ten while we dress and see how quickly we can do it!”
You are the conductor and they will follow your lead, if you can stay calm and focused they will too!