There are countless articles about how to get your kids out the door in the morning.  And for good reason!  Lots of us struggle with this on a regular basis.

My kids are in 3rd grade and 1st grade.  My firstborn is a rules-keeping, structure loving, firstborn know-it-all so he does pretty well with the morning routine.  Sometimes he gets stuck on slow and needs prodding, but he basically knows all the things that need to happen to get out the door.

My daughter is a little different.

She’s free-spirited, silly, slow, and just plain forgetful sometimes.

Eating breakfast takes a l-0-n-g  t-i-m-e.

When I’m expecting her to be dressed, she’s playing the role of Queen with her 3-year-old sister.

I’ve reminded her.  Talked to her.  Chided her.  Been frustrated by her.

But just two days ago, it hit me.  She likes making little charts.  What if I made her a list of morning activities?  I know some of you have done this many times, but I never have.  I made her this little list showing her how to get ready in the morning for school:

  • Get dressed and put on shoes
  • Eat breakfast
  • Pack your lunch and water
  • Brush teeth
  • Make sure homework is in back pack

To my amazement, she carried around her list all morning.  She’d say, “Oh, let me look what is on my list.”  She brushed.  She packed her lunch.  She put on her shoes.  And I didn’t have to remind her!

Maybe she hasn’t been brashly rebellious in past mornings; she’s just been a bit clueless about what to do next.  Her pace is still slow but at least she is moving in the right direction.  For now, the list is working.

In a few months, she may have mornings down pat or she may need a new fresh system of getting things done.  In either case, we as parents can be hopeful…changes in behavior are possible!

What helps you get your kids ready and out the door in the morning?

Arlene Pellicane

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