Mornings can be tough, believe me, I know, I have three kids, two at school and one kid who mostly stays with me. But normal mornings are nothing compared to school mornings.
Now just to clarify our kids have some difficult sensory issues.
Charlie, our eldest, has ADHD and generally struggles with starting and completing tasks, along with the learning issues that come hand in hand with that. Not to mention the almost random and unexpected extreme highs and extreme lows that she truly feels and every other emotion in between.
Our middle child, Jorja, is by far the most sensory of all the kids, brushing her hair is like trying to stop a gorilla eating a banana, and when she’s tired the lounge becomes a gymnastics centre: tumbles, flips, and the overly elaborate apple eating headstand.
Darcy, the “Baby”, combines all of the others traits but also adds the personality and charisma of a Vegas superstar, the strength of a world heavyweight, and the emotional range of any three year old.
So it really goes without saying that our mornings are interesting to the extreme.
Now, you’ve got the kid who won’t get out of bed, the one that won’t brush her hair, and the one that will do almost anything but what you ask, what can you do about it?
Let’s try a few things, over the next few weeks Katie and I will try and change our routine and behaviours to streamline our kids morning routines, and I’ll check back in daily to see how it’s going.
How are we going to do this?
Aside from the combination of offers and threats we struggle.
Charlie refuses to rise from bed, it’s honestly like trying to wake a pharaoh from his long slumber, “Ahh the light, it’s cold!” Then the shower is like throwing acid on her until she gets used to it, then do not try and get her out, the horror!
Jorja intensely tries to conform and do everything right, to the extent that she wants to: get dressed, do homework, eat breakfast, brush teeth (without toothpaste), and cry all at once, the whole while she’s singing the latest pop song.
Meanwhile, Darcy’s trying to have a shower with everyone, eat and throw food, fight and love her sisters, and climb into a cupboard to access vitamins, crackers, or some other damn thing.
Needless to say, we get stressed and run around like headless chooks.
But I think we need to change how we do this school morning ritual, we need to plan and organise a better way.
The Night Before
- I’m going to start making lunches the night before, and pack them in the fridge, this will only work if Darcy doesn’t find the lunchboxes, if she does it’ll be all for not.
- Uniforms need to be sorted and laid out, ready for the next day.
- The first thing I’m going to do is produce a list of things that need to be done by each kid to get ready for school and out the door. This is available from here.
- I’m going to prep Charlie with an alarm in her room, something that will prompt her to get herself up, this will start putting her routine in her control.
- This is something that I’m already doing when everyone is ready or almost ready to get underway, it’s so simple, all I do is call out, in my best drill sergeant voice, “Everybody on the ready line!” Yeah, I stole it from Aliens when Corporal Apone preps the dropship, but hey it works.
Time is a predator that stalks you down, but you can combat that by being organised and getting your kids into a routine, it’s not guarantied to always work but your strike rate will probably go up and we cant complain about that.
With the changes that I’m going to implement I’ll need to check back in and let everyone know how its going, watch this space.