Getting the kids to school on-time is challenging for every parent, especially when the kids just don’t want to go. Without fail your otherwise healthy child will develop an incurable, un-identifiable illness that only happens on school mornings.
Thankfully for you, I have gone through almost all of the tried and tested methods of getting kids to school in the most pain-free way as possible and have finally found a solution that ACTUALLY WORKS!
Haven’t got time to read this now? Click Here to pin it for later
Follow this advice and you will find you are rarely late for school anymore and the mornings are a whole lot less stressful for everyone. Don’t believe me? Read on and try it for yourself.
A Typical School Morning
School mornings are never fun…especially MONDAYS!
I speak from experience when I say that.
In the past, getting my kids out the door for school
was all fun and games has been so bad I have found either myself or them reduced to tears.
I’d lock myself away in the bathroom and cry like a baby whilst my children would be hacking at me from outside the door like a group of over hyper, hungry zombies looking for their next meal.
I felt like I was losing control and the kids were loving it. For them, it was the perfect excuse to run riot and cause utter chaos and be late for school in the process.
This is a step by step account of one of our OLD school morning routines (ok, it’s as far from a routine as it could possibly be)…
- Get up late
- Tell the kids nicely to get out of bed
- Get a coffee
- Moan at the kids to get out of bed
- Finish coffee
- Drag the kids out of bed
- Make everyone breakfast
- Tell the kids to eat it fast
- Make another coffee
- Tell the kids to eat faster
- Kids just stare at TV taking tiny mouse size nibbles of breakfast
- Tell the kids 45 minutes to eat a slice of toast is RIDICULOUS
- Threaten to turn the TV off
- Tell the kids just to leave the breakfast and get dressed
- Rush about looking for EVERY piece of clothing
- Give up looking for certain items and use a ‘Make do’ cardigan instead
- Tell the kids to just wear yesterdays socks
- Kids don’t bother getting dressed and just stand and stare at the tv instead
- Remind the kids to get dressed or you’ll have to turn the TV off
- Kids just stand and stare at TV
- Turn off the TV
- Shout at the kids to GET DRESSED
- Kids get grumpy because you turned off TV
- All of a sudden the kids develop an inability to put socks on…even though you’ve seen them do it for the last three years…refuse to do it for them
- Give up and just put their socks on for them
- Remind the kids to brush teeth and do hair
- Hunt for the hairbrush that surely has it’s own legs
- Ransack the house in the search for hair bands
- Do the Kids hair with or without a brush depending on if you found it
- Get yesterday’s crap out of school bags and realise its the last day to hand in that consent form
- Rush about turfing everything out looking for a pen
- Use a Crayola Crayon in ‘grass green’ instead (wonder what the receptionist will make of that)
- Create a make-shift envelope out of a piece of paper (realise the receptionist will actually know you have lost the plot)
- Tell everyone to get their shoes on
- Look at the clock, have a mini panic attack and actually RUN around the house looking for shoes
- Help everyone put on their shoes
- Tell them to get their coats on
- Start getting yourself ready
- Stop getting yourself ready to hunt for dinner money
- Ransack what’s left of the house to find a £1 in change
- Have a mini Breakdown in the bathroom & contemplate running off to Mexico
- Tip out the penny pot to scrounge for the last 50p … gather this in 1p and 2p coins
- Make another make-shift envelope for the dinner money (don’t even bother writing their names on it…the receptionist will just know it’s you)
- Throw on yesterdays clothes a hat to cover the mess that is your hair and rub on a bit of foundation to cover the bags under your eyes …leave your coat…it’s -2 out there but you’ve worked yourself into an almighty sweat with all the rushing about and you could go out in a bikini and still be hot!
- Tell everyone to get their bags and get in the car
- Tell everyone to come back in and put on coats because even though you already asked them to…they clearly didn’t listen
- Tell everyone to get back in the car
- Negotiate the ‘whose turn is it to sit in the front’ argument
- Realise you cannot find the car key ANYWHERE
- Get everyone out the car to help hunt for the car key
- The kids try to explain to you that the car is already unlocked….you explain to them that yes that may be the case but you can’t physically start the car without the key
- Find it in the most RIDICULOUS location
- Get everyone back in the car
- Have one child crying and refusing to go to school because they don’t feel well all of a sudden
- Get out the thermometer and tell them it’s a magic stick that will tell you if they are lying…any reading at 37 and below means they ARE going to school
- Use every coercive tactic you possess to convince them to get in the car
- Resort to petty threats you don’t intend to follow through on
- With everyone now in the car….go back in the house and relish the quiet for a second
- Down the cold coffee you forgot to drink
- Put on your boots to find a rotten tomato or some sharp toy hidden in there
- Rush about looking for another pair of shoes
- Get in the car and break up the fight that you could hear escalating from the other end of the house while wondering what the hell the neighbours are thinking
- Drive to school, moaning all the way about how unhelpful the kids have been
- Drop them off at the office because the gates shut over 10 minute ago
- Get an evil eye off the head teacher because you’re late again
- Get an evil eye off your child because you made them go to school even though they are ‘dying’ of an undiscovered illness
- Get a scolding look off the receptionist as you explain you forgot to bring the dinner money and consent form
- Drive home feeling awful for moaning at the kids like a dragon all the way there
- Get home to the bomb site you created in all the panic
- Contemplate clearing it up…
- Watch Jeremy Kyle instead
Turn It Around
I had to do something to stop this pattern, it was so stressful for everyone and I knew it was all my fault and also my responsibility to do something about it.
So…how did I turn this horrible situation around?
Well firstly, I decided enough was enough and second, I realised that there was no reason that the kids couldn’t help out in the morning.
After all, being on time to school benefits them and allows them to settle into their day without all the stress and arguing in the morning.
If your kiddies are aged 5 upwards then they are capable of helping and mostly getting themselves ready.
If your children are 7 upwards then do not be afraid to ask them to help out with the younger ones.
They can put on their little sibling’s coat with no problem and help with getting them dressed.
Remember, getting to school on time is in everybody’s interest. While you get ready and make packed lunches and breakfast for those who need help, expect help and assistance in return. It will do them good!
The most effective way I found to get my children to take responsibility and help out during school mornings was to create a tick chart with a reward. I had tried many charts and reward systems but every one of them fell flat sooner or later.
None of them allowed for any lasting changes in behaviour, so I developed my own and it has been LIFE CHANGING!
My children LOVED the challenge of getting all the boxes ticked. I have never seen my kids so enthusiastic to get ready for school and they were almost always ready and waiting at the door on time or earlier… Depending on the reward of course!
A good reward could be 50p per day achieved. Or a small biscuit or treat before school.
Using money as a reward is a great way for your kids to earn their pocket money and get a sense of achievement for earning the money themselves.
Following this chart will also teach your children about time management, preparing them for the future when they will need to be self-motivated to make deadlines.
After using this chart system for about two months, I found that my kids were no longer ticking their boxes but still getting ready in good time. The system had become a habit and it is a habit that endures to this day.
Now EVERY morning is pretty pain-free, sure there are always unexpected things that crop up but we are all better equipped to deal with them when everything else is under control.
Are you ready to leave school morning stress behind? I’ve created a complete pack that you can download and have instantly. This pack will show you how you can implement this method right away and maintain it until easy school mornings become a habit for your children.
- Tips, Suggestions & Ideas for you to implement in your chart
- Two examples of the actual charts my own kids used
- A blank inspirational chart that you can print out and personalize for your child
This method has been so effective in our home, I cannot wait to hear how it changes your school mornings for the better 🙂