One of the most important things you can do is to make sure your child has a good morning routine. A predictable routine helps children feel secure and confident. It also reduces anxiety and stress for children and parents. Once a routine is set, it can save you time and help everyone get out the door in a good mood and ready to take on the day.
If you’re wondering about how to establish this routine, consider the following tips to get started.
Five Tips for Developing a Great School Routine
1) Use a visual schedule
For many children using a visual schedule can help remind them of the tasks they need to do and it can create structure in daily activities. A visual schedule is a series of words, pictures, or symbols that they need to follow. Visual schedules can be very helpful for getting ready for school in the morning.
Children of all ages can benefit from a visual schedule. Go over the routine multiple times and make sure the schedule is visible to the child. When the child completes the task you can have them put a checkmark or cross it out.
Rather than telling your child what to do, you can direct them to their schedule to take initiative for their daily habits. You may choose to actively involve your child when making the schedule to give them a sense of ownership.
2) Start your day with some quality time
Instead of rushing to wake up and get out the door, consider waking up 10 minutes early in order to spend a few minutes with your child. For example, you could spend a few minutes cuddling, talking, drawing, or reading.
This is a great time to put devices away and check in with your child and see how they are feeling. Your child will love this attention and they will be more likely to cooperate as they get ready.
3) Do things the night before
To make the morning less hectic you can do some things the night before. For example, you can have your child pick out clothes for the next day, You can also pack lunches, take showers, and get bookbags ready to go.
Make sure your child has gathered everything that they will need for the next day. Doing these things ahead of time will make getting out the door much easier and prevent morning meltdowns.
4) Get back on a good sleep schedule
The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends that school-age children get between 9-11 hours of sleep each night. It is a good idea to make sure your kids are going to bed and getting up at the same time each day.
You can begin practicing this the week before school starts so that kids can get used to their sleep schedule. Rachel Dawkins, M.D., with Johns Hopkins Children’s, says,
“Studies have shown that kids who regularly get an adequate amount of sleep have improved attention, behavior, learning, memory, and overall mental and physical health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, and even depression.”
In order to help your child fall asleep, you can do things such as limit caffeine, stop the use of electronics an hour before bed, limit caffeine and read.
5) Eat a good breakfast
Eating a healthy breakfast is a great way to get the day started. Talk to your kids about what they would like to eat for breakfast, you can also present them with some healthy options.
Decide what is important to you (gluten-free, high protein, whole foods, etc.) then make a plan for breakfast where your child has 3 to 4 options each day. Be sure to keep some simple options on hand for days where you may be running behind and things don’t go as planned.
St. Paul Lutheran School Northville, MI
You may find yourself using your summer exploring new school options in and around Northville. You and your child know you need to make a change. St. Paul Lutheran School has been in operation for over sixty years. Contact us for more information about St. Paul Lutheran.