Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Raising Lexington: School Morning Showdowns

By: Audra Myerberg of Lexington Patch

Getting kids up, fed, dressed and out the door without a fight seems like asking too much, but it can be done -- or so I’ve heard. The first day of school has come and gone here in Lexington, but most of us are still working out the kinks of the morning routine.

Let’s face it, it isn’t easy getting kids to do what you want in a short time frame, especially when they would rather play or, if they are older kids, sleep. I would rather do the latter, but would also rather not deal with the, “Why can’t you just get your kid to school on time” look from my kids teachers, so I have tried to perfect the art of the wake up.

I think we all know the basics by now, right? Put them to bed, get them up at the same time everyday and don’t stray too far from that time on the weekends. Check. Pick out their clothes the night before and have a backup plan when little Sally decides it isn’t cool to wear purple anymore and Nick spills oatmeal all over his shirt. Make lunches the night before so you can grab a shower in the morning and hope the kids don’t resent their soggy sandwich too much. Or, just let them buy the cafeteria food and be thankful Lexington Public Schools actually have decent food choices. Get the back packs gathered by the door with all of the assigned work done and checked.

We all do this already, so why the headaches each morning?

This is where I should tell you the answer, but I don’t have it ... yet. I can only tell you what has worked well for me, with only minor incidents from time to time.

1.) Turn off the TV! It’s like pouring molasses all over you child. It slows down everything.

This was one of the last things I did in my effort to make mornings easier and it has worked very well. My kids looked at me like I had four heads the first morning and still occasionally ask to watch a show. I used it to keep them quiet while I got breakfast ready and for a moment to wake up. Now, they just find something to do and know better than to mess with Mommy in the morning.

2.) Have a go-to school day breakfast.

This seems obvious, but I do have friends who I respect and adore who make French toast, omelet’s and other weekend-style breakfasts for their kids on school mornings. Are you crazy? There are a handful of really quick, super nutritious breakfast ideas that will do the job. We cook plain oatmeal (to control the sugar) and add flax meal, wheat bran, cinnamon and a drop of honey, and the kids are perfectly content with that.

The weekends are when I bring out the big guns. They know that and don’t question it. I ran across a nice array of breakfast ideas recently on Parenting Magazine's website. I am definitely doing the morning milkshake and the banana chocolate chip bread -- even if it is only for me.

3.) Don’t try anything new in the morning. This is a good one for all of us but especially those of us with girls.

Have you heard this one before, “Mom, Peggy Sue wears great double French breads every day. Can you do that now?” Um, no. I can’t do it now and I probably never can. The time for trying new hairdos, outfits, food, etc., is not when you are running 10-minutes late for school. Do it on the weekends or that rare time when the kids wake up before sunrise and your coffee has kicked in.

4.) Finally, give yourself and your kids a break. Mornings are messy. There is a reason why it sounds just like the word that means to express sorrow or grief: Moms are feeling sorrow and the kids are giving us grief. Have a morning plan.Tell your kids the plan and expect it to happen in some form each day.

After all, as long as they are dressed, fed and get to school on time, you are one step ahead of the game.

Theresa D'Antuono
Lexington MA Real Estate Agent
Lexington MA Area Homes For Sale
Visit our Facebook Page for Lexington Events and Information

No comments:

Post a Comment