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Strategies to help children cooperate in the mornings

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This week many children will be heading back to school after their winter break. It is a bit harder to leave home on a cold January morning than it was back in August.

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Many parents find their children dawdling while they are preparing breakfast, packing lunches and trying to get everyone ready for the commute to day care, school and work. Parents start their mornings off in frustration as their children, seemingly unaware, procrastinate through the morning.

Their reasons for all this procrastination is very simple; for children rushing off to school is not a priority. They would much rather play with their holiday toys, stay in their pj’s, eat pancakes, spend time on the computer, or watch one more holiday movie.

On top of this lack of desire to leave the nest children lack a sense of time. They might see ten minutes as plenty of time to get to the next level on their computer game, eat breakfast and get dressed. They simply do not have the urgency their parents do.

Many children become overwhelmed by the whole process of preparing for school because they simply are not morning people.

Here are some strategies to help parents with little morning procrastinators:

  • Let your child know his morning responsibilities.
  • Ask your child what will help them get ready?
  • Get up 15 minutes earlier. This gives you time to get yourself together before you tackle your child’s needs.
  • Wake your child up 15 minutes earlier to get ready.
  • A morning shower might wake up a sleepy one.
  • Establish a rule that everyone must be ready to go before they can play.
  • Make sure lunches are made, clothes are laid out and homework is in the backpack before bed.
  • Shoes, coat and mittens are all placed by the backpack the night before.
  • Identify tasks your child had most trouble with and help him. (You can have him comb his hair on Saturdays. On Mondays, instead of yelling at him, it might just be easier if you offer to help.)
  • Set up a system of rewards. If you are dressed by 6:30 you get waffles. If you are all ready by 6:45 you can play a game. Etc.
  • Remember what works for one child may not work for another. Keep calm, each day they are learning.


For more Family ideas check out:

· Learning at home by Rhonda Cratty. A parent resource, filled with ideas for families. This e-book can be purchased through for daily fun activities that make all subjects become more than pencil and paper, moving into the authentic way of everyday life. 48, four per month, ideas that can happen anytime. Around the kitchen table, in the backyard, on summer vacation, everyday within the comfort of family. Each idea can work with multiple ages and needs within a family. Tucked in are lists of family friendly books, recipes, and games.

· Family snow treats

· New Year family friendly poems quotes and Auld Lang Syne

· New Year family resolutions for 2014

· 2014 Family Winter Fun

· Happy New Year family activities




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