"I want to play with my toys!"
"I'll brush my teeth later!"
Have you heard these cries from your kids in the morning? They are direct quotes from my two children. And on occasion, I have been guilty of giving in to them. What did it get me? Some prodding, pleading and yelling, a mad dash out the door, and no one starting out their day in a good mood.
I like to start my day in a good mood--I want the same for my kids. It's important to start the day off with a smile--especially at back-to-school time.
How did I turn our morning routine around?
My secret weapon:
The 'Business Before 'Pleasure' Method for Morning Routines
What does the 'Business Before Pleasure' Method involve? Its basic philosophy is that all morning 'business' must be taken care of before 'pleasure' (playing or watching TV). Morning business includes (in no particular order):
• Using the bathroom and washing face/brushing teeth
• Selecting clothes (if it wasn't done the night before)
• Getting dressed
• Eating breakfast
• Cleaning up after breakfast
• Putting on shoes
• Checking school bag for everything needed for the day
My kids are 7 and 3. My big guy can do most of the 'morning business' himself by now but still needs a bit of prodding. My little one can be a bit of a 'wild card.' You never know what he's going to do. For these reasons and more, it was important to create a set of 'rules' to dictate what needs to happen before they could play/watch TV and so I can get them to school on time.
What makes the 'Business Before Pleasure' Method an easier way of getting ready in the morning?
• Lunches and school bags are prepared the night before
• The weather report is checked and clothes are picked out for the next day before bedtime
• The kids know what they are responsible for accomplishing in the morning
• They are learning how to manage their time
• Their desire to have that extra 'pleasure' time in the morning motivates them and ensures me a little extra time in case of an emergency or glitch (ex. full diaper/last-minute requests/faulty coat zipper)
Thanks to the 'Business Before Pleasure' Method, our mornings are more smooth and less hectic now. And, yes--most mornings my guys get to play and watch a little TV before leaving the house.
By the way, just saying the phrase 'Business Before Pleasure' drives my 7 year old crazy. But, better it drive him crazy for a fleeting moment than have Mommy crazy the whole morning!