If frantic scrambling to the preschool drop off each morning has become the norm in your household, you’re not alone. Try these tips to make mornings with your preschooler times you’ll cherish and look forward to rather than dread.
Use technology to your advantage
Our smartphones often make us feel like we’re being pulled in a million different directions. Incorporating an alarm into your child’s routine can let them know that it’s time to start getting ready to get out the door without you having to ask them repeatedly. Use a fun-sounding alarm, like a duck quack or frog ribbit. Set the alarm for 10 minutes before you have to leave. After a few days, your little one will associate the animal noise with wrapping up their activities and heading towards the door.
Make time the night before
After a long day, the last thing anyone wants to do is make tomorrow’s lunches or figure out what your tater tot is going to wear the next day. In order for your morning routine to go smoothly, make an effort to set up a consistent evening routine, too. Avoid morning battles about what your child will wear by having them pick out their outfit the night before. Make it fun by tracing your little guy or girl on a large sheet of paper or piece of cardboard and letting them color it before you cut it out. You two can “dress” their paper counterpart every evening. Including your child in the decision-making process will lead to fewer last-minute arguments and meltdowns.
Many of our daily stresses can be alleviated by changing our perspective. Preschoolers grow up so fast, so make mornings memorable by setting aside a few minutes where you don’t have an agenda. If your little one is feeling especially sleepy, set aside some time to wake them up gently by getting in an AM snuggle session. If they’re feeling especially talkative, take a few minutes to really connect with them by sitting down and having a conversation with them without trying to do a thousand other things at once. It only takes a few moments to create memories that will last forever.
Get up earlier
While it’s perhaps the least-fun suggestion on this list, if you feel like you’ve tried everything and you notice that you’re still struggling to figure out a stress-free way to get out of the house in the morning, it might be that you haven’t given yourself enough time. Try waking up 10 or 15 minutes earlier than usual one day. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling like you have more time than you do, though – this usually leads to frantic, last-minute rushing around.
Once you’ve gotten them out the door, don’t forget to initiate a conversation starter after school to get an idea of what your little one was up to all day!