School mornings - constantly losing my temper

(38 Posts)
Hermagsjesty Fri 25-Nov-16 09:54:19

I'm finding myself increasingly short tempered and shouty on school mornings - I think I need some better coping techniques!

DD is 5 and generally very good at getting her uniform on etc. She then gets quite easily distracted- not being terrible, just wanting to draw/ read/ play. Everything is always, 'just one more minute'. DS is 2.5yo and spends a lot of time in the morning running around refusing to get dressed. No one is allowed downstairs for breakfast until they're dressed. His behaviour is much more challenging but because she's older she usually ends up being the one who I snap at - which I then end up feeling guilty about.

We need to leave at 8.25ish and by 8.30 we are usually rushing out the door with me shouting and DS wailing.

Any tips for taking the heat out of the morning and keeping my temper? I feel like I had much more patience as a parent of pre schoolers - there's something about the time pressure that gets me really tightly wound.

SerenaJoy Fri 25-Nov-16 10:02:57

Mine are the same ages, and this sounds very much like mornings in our house so I feel your pain!

Things I do to try and help are having clothes for everyone (including me) laid out the night before, and eldest's schoolbag ready. I get myself dressed first while they watch tv, then breakfast, then it's clothes on and teeth brushed. (I give them breakfast first as they're like pigs in a trough and clothes would end up covered in weetabix!) Even then all it takes is for one thing to go wrong and we're flying out the door late with me screeching like a banshee.

Will lurk for tips!

SerialReJoiner Fri 25-Nov-16 10:09:33

I got caught for speeding through a red light during the school run earlier this year. blush blush

I was able to take the speed awareness course, and it was very interesting. Turns out that driving at 35mph vs 30mph only saves 17seconds/hour. That really put things into perspective for me, and took the stress right out of my mornings. If we're running late, there isn't anything I can do about it by the time we've reached the car. I have to take responsibility first thing in the morning, which means I wake up 20-30 minutes earlier.

I've been much, much calmer this week and we haven't been rushing out the door as frantically, either.

megletthesecond Fri 25-Nov-16 10:10:06

We get this too. Everything ready the night before, no telly unless ready, bribed with pocket money but 10yr old DS dicks around and 8yr old DD has form too. I hate it. I know other school parents struggle too. You're not alone.

And other parents or teachers who helpfully suggest I should leave them to be late and get into trouble drives me nuts because I'm a lp and I work. We have to be out that door. Sadly it's just me who cares.

Livedandlearned Fri 25-Nov-16 10:14:43

Mine are the same, aged 15,12 and 11. I've had bad mornings since my eldest started school. I wish I knew how to deal with it, I'd be a much happier mum!

TheHighPriestessOfTinsel Fri 25-Nov-16 10:15:54

I assumed this was the case in 99 households out of 100, TBH.

I've tried getting up early, but actually having time to spare makes things worse - someone starts getting out a craft kit when my back is turned, or I think I've got time to put the hoover round when I haven't.

I do make them get dressed down to their shoes before breakfast (after umpteen occasions where someone can only find one shoe at 8.29). I then figure that if they forget their schoolbag/PE kit/reading book it's not the end of the world. Uniforms before breakfast does mean they sometimes go to school with a bit of porridge on them, but I've decided not to care about that.

alwayshappy101 Fri 25-Nov-16 10:19:14

Op-are you me?grin

I too will certainly be watching out for tips.

Note3 Fri 25-Nov-16 10:23:00

Just heading out but am commenting so it goes in watch list and will give some suggestions later

anotherdayanothersquabble Fri 25-Nov-16 10:34:43

Love the idea that the HighPriestessofTinsel gets the hoover out in a self sabotaging attempt to ruin the perfect stress free morning.

Sadly all too familiar to me, put a load of washing in, do some prep for dinner, take that extra 5 minutes to have a lovely peaceful sit on the loo, iron my hair, read book to the children or steps them out about spellings they either already know or its just too dam late to do anything about right now!

I can highly recommend this 3 minute yoga routine to turn our house from frazzled to calm, focused and giggling. Yes, it's 3 minutes you might not have but it is worth it!!! Morning Yoga

SliceOfLime Fri 25-Nov-16 10:38:12

My kids are the same age as yours and we do this too! Isn't it like this for everyone?! I've had lots of conversations about this with other parents as we literally run up the road... grin

I resorted to actually writing down a timetable of everything that has to happen in the morning, starting with the time we have to leave and working backwards, and trying to leave a realistic amount of time for everything e.g. Brushing teeth / shoes and coats on would ideally take 2 minutes each but actually takes 5-10. I went right up to the time DH and I have to be in and out of the bathroom - no cheeky pushing the snooze button on the alarm!

I try and give them a feel for the 'timetable' e.g. You've nearly finished your breakfast , when you've finished I want you to get dressed and brush your teeth, then you have time for a QUICK play with ONE toy.

If you get dressed after breakfast, take clothes downstairs with you so there's no more running up and down stairs. Brush teeth in kitchen sink / downstairs loo for same reason.

Have every single item of clothing book bag your own bag/keys etc laid out the night before.

And try not to cry or scream when the little one undoes all your hard work by stripping naked at 8.29 and looking very pleased with themselves!

QueenofTinyThings Fri 25-Nov-16 10:40:24

Apart from the usual pack bag and make sure everyone has clean clothes the night before stuff, when mine were younger we did 'Can you get dressed in the count of...?' Put radio on and get dressed before the end of the song, race mum/dad getting dressed, coloured sand timers, sticker charts/marble in a jar for being ready on time, also kept a set of toothbrushes downstairs so not all trying to use the bathroom at the same time. I also found singing what you want them to do occasionally can help, they seem to listen more and breaks the nagging/shouting pattern, and definitely no TV for us or we could never get out of the door!

Tanaqui Fri 25-Nov-16 10:44:06

I had to get to work when my dc were about that age - these are my tips (which sadly don't work how they are teenagers!)

1) get dressed before breakfast and sod any egg stains
2) have hairbrush and toothbrush in kitchen so no one has to go back upstairs
3) put school bags by door (or in car if you drive) the the night before
4)have an alarm that goes off 5 min before you have to leave
5) get up 10 minutes earlier than you need to and have a quiet cup of tea!

Hermagsjesty Fri 25-Nov-16 11:03:21

Thank you so much. Some really useful suggestions! And also glad it's not just me. My DH helpfully commenting this morning along the lines of "you're way too stressed in the mornings, can you not just calm down a bit" which made me feel like some kind of mad banshee!!

QueenOfHumboldtCounty Fri 25-Nov-16 11:11:13

It's crazy isn't it I was actually going to write a similar post this morning as I was really upset for shouting at ds and making him cry this morning. It's like a chain reaction of shouting and crying in our house with ds age 3.10, and dd 18months and me (trying not to cry) but how do you stop your temper and your blood pressure from rocketing?! It's beyond me!

Oblomov16 Fri 25-Nov-16 11:42:47

Most families struggle.

I've learnt the hard way. Now I get up earlier, just 5 or 10 minutes is enough.
It's a mindset thing.
You think you need that extra 5 minutes in bed, but you actually don't, in return you get relaxed start, which effects your whole day, the whole atmosphere of the house.

It seems hard to start with but it really is worth it. I used to get the children ready, now they are older.

Gently encourage them to make sure that they've got shoes,beg, teeth brushed etc.
It doesn't really matter which order they do it in, try a list? Done kids like ticking all the things off?

we have a rule of no TV or tablets until you're totally ready, so when I say let's go they are actually ready to walk out the door.

the final thing is is that I've started kind of mentally saying but going to do this five minutes earlier than you actually need to leave:

Instead of at 7:25 you plan to go at 7:20 and then you can walk to the car gently not rushing and it sets the whole tone of your getting ready, The whole tone of your day it's much more relaxed and that makes it worth it.

HTH

BlueCowWonders Fri 25-Nov-16 11:56:29

Absolutely agree with Oblomov above - if you need to be out by 8.25, you have to mentally adjunct that to needing to be out at 8.15. That leeway will give you space, and it's magical when you leave the house calm knowing you don't have to rush.

BlueCowWonders Fri 25-Nov-16 11:56:55

Sorry adjust not adjunct

Blumkin Fri 25-Nov-16 11:59:25

You are lucky timing wise - advent calendars are the answer to your prayers. If they are up and dressed and ready on time with no complaining / nagging then they will have time to open a door and get the chocolate ;)

December is the only month in our house where mornings go very smoothly

dodobookends Fri 25-Nov-16 12:06:15

Put every clock in the house forward by 5 minutes grin

lazyleo Fri 25-Nov-16 12:08:18

My 7 year olds daughter's alarm goes off at 7.30am. This is a new introduction greatly helping with her tell the time lessons in school. We don't need to leave until 9.50am, so I don't let her get up before 7am. If she is awake she can read a book or watch a video on the ipad which she gets from my room. It's harder to get my 4 year old to do the same, especially when he hears his dad leaving at 6am, but I'm getting there. My alarm goes off at 6.35am and that gives me the best part of an hour to shower, dress, do my make up and have a coffee. (When it goes according to plan, not like this morning when my son stayed up at 6am!) I just need to dry my hair when they get moving. When her alarm goes off at 7.30am everyone goes downstairs.

There are 5 tasks to be done before any tv or toys.
Task 1) Breakfast - is in the kitchen, I leave the bowls, spoons and cups laid out the night before.
Task 2) Get dressed - at the moment I iron their clothes to make them warm. We don't have any radiators to put them on and its always more tempting to put on warm clothes. It takes 30 secs per item to heat through their polo tops, trousers and sweatshirts and they get dressed fast!
Task 3) Pack the schoolbag - usually this involved popping her snack in her bag and leaving her water bottle at the sink for me to fill. I keep snacks in a floor level cupboard she can reach. Homework etc is already in from the night before. Nursery bag is always packed.
Task 4) Hair Brushing - this is much easier now that she is better at brushing her own hair. Key to this has been finding the right brush. I use the WetBrush whcih I got from Amazon. We had some horrendous battles over hair brushing. I comb my son's with a little bit of water as it tend to be sticking up everywhere usually while she is packing her bag.
Task 5) Teeth brushing. This has come on in leaps and bounds. My son spent the 2 years between 2-4 battling me about teethbrushing. I had him clatter his head on the stairs once with such force I thought he might have a concussion - he was having such tantrums about teethbrushing. Again finding the right brush has helped. I splurged and got an electronic one with a smiley face and stars when he does it properly. My daughter also likes getting the responsibility and praise for changing the heads on the toothbrush.
That's it, they can do what they like now, and I give them a 5 minute warning before they have to put away what they are using and get ready to go.
We can, on a good morning, have these things all done by 8.15am, (it's 10 minutes a task and putting crisps in a bag isn't a 10 minute job!) definately by 8.30am.
We are in the hall putting on shoes and jackets at 8.45am, 8.40am if we need snow suits etc, and out the door for 8.50am.

I always try to make a thing of wasn't it a good morning, its nice to have time to play, does it make you happier when mummy isn't shouting at you to get this or that done etc. do you think we can do it again tomorrow - I'd like that, wouldn't you? when we are on the way to school as well. Kind of positive reinforcement.

Can you create yourself and kids a task list - get her to think of what it is she needs to do and make little stick men people for each of you getting ready and draw little hairrdyers, toothbrushes, cereal bowls along the top and tick them off as you complete them in the morning. Try and make it fun for everyone. No-one wants those battles in the morning, it sets you all up for a bad day. I'm sure other folk have other ways but that's mine, and for the moment it's working. But I've been there, and it is hell on earth. I am a scream/shouty type of mum so its not pleasant if it gets to that stage as I end up feeling guilty - it's not their fault, they are only young etc etc.

watchingitallagain Fri 25-Nov-16 12:11:43

Have you tried not shouting? I usually use my shit completely with my two (5 and 2) but last week I promised myself I wasn't going to shout. I got up, dressed myself then the two year old. Woke DD5 up and showed her where her clothes were and told her we were waiting at the breakfast table. She was so shocked that I wasn't stood over her that she just got dressed! The playroom was locked and they were told it wouldn't be unlocked until they'd eaten. This resulted in DD actually feeding DS! grin
It's worked every day this week so far and I think it was the fact I wasn't stood over her that's made the difference. That, and removing all temptation for her to piss about. I'm sure our neighbours are wondering what I've done to them.

watchingitallagain Fri 25-Nov-16 12:14:22

Should add there that I ensure she's eaten her own breakfast before I allow her to feed her brother. He can actually feed himself but enjoys the game. blush

SerialReJoiner Fri 25-Nov-16 12:20:49

That's cute, watching!

TooTweeOrNotTooTwee Fri 25-Nov-16 12:46:25

I dress both of mine blush. It's much quicker. They're 4 and 2. The eldest particularly is NOT a morning person, so they get lifted from their bed into ours, and dressed by me while they watch their favourite to programme. When that's done they know it's downstairs time, where DH has made breakfast (he and I are showered and dressed before we wake up the DC).

Makes it all sound smooth doesn't it. It's not, because as I do DD's hair during breakfast she'll announce she wants "magical unicorn hair" today, and DS will want to bring 15 different toys into the car 5 of which we can't find.. but anyway...

TheCursedOne Fri 25-Nov-16 12:49:02

I'm on my 15th year of shitty school mornings shock.

Clothes are ironed and laid out the night before.
We get up in plenty of time (more time makes no difference).
Phones/lunches/bags are ready night before.
Routine is up, washed, dressed, hair.
Then breakfast is on the table ready for them to just sit down, eat and out the door.
No TV unless it's the music channels to get them moving.

No matter what there will something forgotten, long poo needed, numerous trips up and down the stairs, lots of sitting/laying on beds staring into space GRRRR.

I can probably count on one hand the amount of mornings where I have never had to raise my voice. It's like they NEED me to!

Only another 9 more years to go!

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