In parenting, as soon as you feel good and let out an “I’ve got this” sigh, something happens, and that’s EXACTLY how our morning routine for school went!
The secret to a perfect morning routine for school is easier than you think!
I am the mother of four boys. This was not my first rodeo, after all. Our summer ended a few weeks ago and I felt rather confident that going back to school would be a breeze.
But as with anything related to parenting, as soon as you feel good and sink down in the chair with an “I’ve got this” sigh, something happens. You are instantly reminded that “you ain’t got this any more than the next mom or dad!”
Every morning last week started off beautifully. I’d take a shower, get dressed, start breakfast, and wake up all the adorable little sleepy-heads throughout the house. I was met with a variety of grunts and complaints, but nothing out of the ordinary.
The kids stumbled downstairs, most of them half-dressed. Apparently, they thought they attend a pants-optional or no-socks-required school, which isn’t quite the case… so back upstairs they went. But even those stumbling blocks were not enough to put a monkey wrench in our groove.
We ate, finished our routine and the kids played for a few minutes – and when it was time to go all Hell broke loose. It was apparently harder for some of our kids to remember everything that is required to get out of the door… although our routine hasn’t changed from day to day – even from year to year.
SOMETHING HAD TO CHANGE BEFORE I LOST MY MIND!
(I am thrilled to work with BulbBotz Watches and Clocks on this post. I received compensation in return for my honest review of their products. The opinions stated are 100% mine.)
Our Morning Routine for School Fail:
Nonetheless, our mornings didn’t go as smoothly as I had hoped. On day ONE of back-to-school, I came home after dropping the kids off, to find that one of them had left a bag of school supplies RIGHT NEXT TO THE DOOR. I decided NOT to “rescue” him and instead teach him the consequences of his forgetfulness. I left the supplies right there by the door and didn’t bring them to his school.
(Being “tough” on your kids isn’t always easy, but it’s necessary for them to understand that “innocent” absentmindedness has a price.)
Later in the week, on days two and three, lunch boxes and homework were left at home!
Before chaos became part of our daily routine, I took a good look at what I expected of the kids and how I could communicate more effectively.
It is our job as parents to teach our kids to become self-sufficient little beings, it’s not our job to do tasks for them simply just because “it’s easier to do them ourselves.”
One thing I have learned from my 11 years of parenting is, I can get the kids to do just about ANYTHING if I make them feel empowered and give them choices!
(Pro tip: same goes for husbands. Make your husband feel that he has a choice between weeding the backyard or washing the cars – and at least one of those tasks will be completed by sunset! – Try it!)
The Simple Solutions To Our Morning Routine Chaos:
Instead of starting the kids’ day with me nagging at them to get out of bed, I set up BulbBotz alarm clocks in their rooms. In essence, I am letting an adorable electronic device do the nagging for me. (HUGE WIN!)
Check out these cool alarm clocks from BulbBotz. I owe them my sanity! Every night when I kiss the kids goodnight, I check to make sure the alarm clock is set for 6:45 am.
The next morning, without my prodding or reminding, four little kids come strolling into the kitchen, rubbing the sleep out of their eyes – and I am the hero – because I am greeting them with breakfast and a warm smile!
The BulbBotz alarm clocks have a digital face, so even the preschoolers can tell time. (This comes in handy too when you have an early riser!)
(Pro tip: you can remind your toddler that he has to stay quietly in his bed until the alarm goes off – and not run through the house waking everyone up at 5:30 am!)
I gave our oldest kid the Star Wars BulbBotz alarm clock. He picked it himself because it was “cool” – his words. Our 8-year-old got the Spiderman BulbBotz alarm clock, which turned out to be the hot item. The kids set up a rotating alarm clock system – so there’s no arguing over who gets which one!
BulbBotz alarm clock awesomeness:
- Cute and popular characters the kids love.
- Easy to set the alarm and shut it off. The kids can do it on their own.
- The alarm starts off with a character voice and then makes a regular alarm noise, very effective in waking up even the sleepiest little heads.
- There is a snooze feature on the alarm, although my kids haven’t had the privilege to use it.
- At the push of a button, the character speaks a few lines – and they are really funny.
How The Minions Saved Our Mornings:
OK – so the alarm clocks took care of one of our morning issues. However, I still had to get the kids dressed, groomed, and out of the door with everything they needed for a full day of learning – without losing my mind!
Not to worry, our BulbBotz alarm clocks came to the rescue. Once again, I let the alarm clock do the nagging FOR me – making me look like the good guy!
Our Minion BulbBotz alarm clock cracked up the kids when it arrived. They gravitated toward the friendly face and the silly sounds because let’s admit it: what’s there not to love about a Minion?!
Dave the Minion is now our designated morning reminder. I have him set to go off 10 minutes before we HAVE to leave. We did trial runs last week and it worked really well.
- Once the kids finish their morning routine of breakfast, grooming, taking medicine, etc, they are allowed to play until it is time to leave… or as it happens now – until Dave, the Minion goes off.
- The kids then gather in the kitchen and run down their list of things that need to be done – so there are no surprises when I say “did you brush your teeth?” or “where are your pants?”
- We spend ten minutes quickly assessing our backpacks, making sure we have lunch boxes, homework and mom signed all the necessary forms.
I made a hands-on chart, inspired by “The Superkids Activity Guide to Conquering Every Day.” The book is full of creative ways to help kids who have memory issues and sensory processing disorders. The chart I made is for our most forgetful child, but it benefits all the kids.
Now our routine includes a quick all-hands-on-deck ten minutes before departure. Our kid who needs more visual cues uses the chart to confirm that everything is done. I work with the other kids to make sure no one is trying to sneak out of the door without pants or their lunch box.
Thanks to Dave the Minion from BulbBotz, our mornings are running much smoother – and I hopefully won’t come home after drop-offs to find forgotten backpacks, homework – or pants!
As I finish writing this post, we have now used our BulbBotz alarm clock routine for over a week. The kids have fully embraced being woken up by the adorable characters. Our mornings now start on a happy note, but best of all… there is much less chaos when we walk out of the door.
Dave the Minion alerts the kids that it’s time to get their stuff together. They now have a routine of one kid reading off the chart and the two other school-age kids confirm that everything has been done. It is teamwork at its finest and we have not had one missed or forgotten item.
This, my fellow parent, IS the key to get your kids out of the door in the mornings WITHOUT losing your mind! It’s a beautiful thing!
Check out BulbBotz on Amazon. These adorable alarm clocks have saved my sanity and empowered the kids in ways I couldn’t have done without a lot of nagging!
And… now that school’s back in session, don’t miss my homework tips and our DIY homework station – BOTH posts are full of sanity-saving tips!