5 Things Friday: Five ways to get kids out the door on timeFARGO – More often than not I find myself hustling my kids out the door as we race the clock to get to school, day care, and work on time.
By: Tracy Frank, INFORUM
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FARGO – More often than not I find myself hustling my kids out the door as we race the clock to get to school, day care, and work on time.
It’s a common occurrence in the Frank household, I’m afraid. But it doesn’t have to be and the days we actually make it out the door on time are a lot less stressful.
When we do leave on time, it’s usually because I’ve followed the following tips:
The year my daughter, now 8, entered kindergarten was difficult. It was of course difficult because my baby was growing up, but it was also hard because our family’s schedules changed and instead of being the one who picked her up after day care, I was dropping her off before school started.
I would often forget something – like a library book or snow pants – and would have to run home to get it for her before leaving for work.
Eventually my daughter’s teacher gave me some sound advice. She told me to get everything ready the night before.
It sounds incredibly simple, but it’s amazing how much smoother the morning routine goes if I already have all of our clothes picked out, library books and winter gear gathered, and lunches and snacks packed.
If I’m really on the ball, I’ll get as much of our breakfast ready as possible the night before, too. A few minutes here and there can mean the difference between being late and on-time.
Enlist your kids’ help
My daughter has been picking out her own clothes and packing her own bag this year. While she has occasionally forgotten something, those experiences have helped her learn from her mistakes and come up with creative solutions (like the time she “showed” her friend because she forgot to bring an item for show and tell.)
Even my toddler is learning to pack his teddy bear before going to day care.
Lists can help trigger your kids’ memories and if they can’t read, picture lists, like the “Get Your Gear” cards created by North Dakota native Karen Lyng Asmundson, are a good option. The cards are $4.95 each, plus shipping, and can be ordered at: www.simplyordered.com.
Get up on time
The snooze button is an evil tempter, especially if my toddler’s woken up frequently throughout the night. I know I need an hour and 45 minutes to get myself and my kids out the door on time (if I plan ahead) and one simple tap of the snooze button will derail all of our good efforts.
This advice goes for kids too.
If I let my kids sleep in, even for 10 extra minutes, I find myself rushing them through breakfast or prodding them to get ready faster.
Avoid household chores
The other morning I did not plan ahead as well as I could have, I hit my snooze button instead of getting up on time, and I decided to start a load of laundry while eating breakfast. Because of this, my daughter was almost late for school.
Unless you are completely ready to go, leave the dirty dishes in the sink, leave the bed unmade, and do not start any new chores.
Pad the clock
No matter how well you follow the preceding tips, with kids, the unexpected should almost be expected, so give yourself at least 10 to 15 minutes more than you think you will need to get ready.
And if you find yourself with extra time before you have to head out the door, that’s when you can load the dishwasher and wipe up the breakfast crumbs.