for getting kids off to school on time
Send a link to a friend
Syndicated column from The Parent
[OCT. 7, 2005]
Q: As the new school year begins, I am
concerned about getting my 9-year-old daughter up and moving in the
morning. She is not a morning person. She has a hard time waking up.
She dawdles over getting dressed and eating breakfast. Then she
takes forever getting out the door with her lunch, homework and
school supplies. School has barely started, and she has already
missed the bus four times. I have younger children at home, and this
means I have to drop everything and pile everyone into the car to
get her to school on time. We're always running late in the morning.
What can I do?
A: Some kids do find it
easier to get out of bed in the morning. Others tend to be night
owls. But since your daughter won't be attending night school
anytime soon, you are going to have to find a way to make mornings
easier -- for everyone.
The secret to surviving mornings is to
start the night before. Here's how:
Make your daughter's bedtime
earlier. Children her age need at least eight or nine hours of
sleep. Decide when she needs to go to bed to get that amount of
sleep. Set a time. Announce it. Then enforce it.
Lay out tomorrow's school clothes
Fill lunch boxes or bags at night
and leave them in the fridge.
Make sure your daughter has
packed her backpack with completed homework, library books and
everything she'll need for school.
Get your daughter her own alarm
clock. Give her the responsibility of getting up in the morning
in plenty of time to get dressed and ready for school.
[to top of second column in this article]
These tips can help make mornings more successful:
Allow time for a good breakfast.
There will be those days when nothing seems to go right. You can
help by keeping a stash of nutritious foods on hand that can be
eaten in a hurry.
Use a kitchen timer to do the
countdown for you. Set the timer to ring when it's time for
breakfast, when breakfast must be over and when it's time to
move on to the next task. Most kids enjoy playing "beat the
Don't simply say, "Hurry up!"
Instead, state the specific task she needs to complete next:
"Time to brush your teeth." "Time to tie your shoes."
Finally, don't be too quick to bail her out. Unless someday, when
she's an adult, you plan to write a note to her boss when she's late
or drive her briefcase to work for her, you might as well let your
daughter learn the consequences of her actions now. It's better to
learn them in elementary school than later in high school or on the
For more information about helping
children learn or to submit your own question, go to
http://advisor.parent-institute.com. All questions will receive
a prompt answer by e-mail.
Copyright © 2005, The Parent
"Ask the Learning Advisor -- Ideas for Raising Successful
Children" is a free, syndicated column from the Parent Institute.