11 school morning hacks you'll wish you'd known all along
'Any tips on how to improve the daily school run stress?' implored one Mumsnetter, frazzled by the trauma of getting her children out of the door on time. Turns out Mumsnetters *did* have some tips - and here they are.
1. Grit your teeth, and make it a challenge
"Explain to them that you are not going to be late any more and you need their help to make sure everything gets done on time. I used to set alarms to go off on my phone: 7.15am - everyone to the kitchen!, 7.30am - time to brush your teeth, etc."
2. Clothes go on last
"That way you won't have to stress about breakfast or toothpaste on their uniforms."
3. Nothing good happens till they've done what they have to do
"They want to get everything done quicker to get some time playing before we have to leave."
4. There's no shame in bribery
"Mine can choose a 'coming home snack' if they get ready nicely in the mornings."
5. Less talk, more action
"Seriously. Don't engage with chatter, answering questions, whining etc. Just speak very quietly about what they are going to do next. It's a sort of broken-record technique. The quieter you are, the quieter they will be."
6. You want them to be synchronised. You need to let that go
"If one is upstairs getting dressed, the other can have a calm breakfast."
7. Get yourself dressed and done before attempting any of the above
"I can just focus on getting THEM ready whilst drinking my tea."
8. Visual prompts are surprisingly effective
"People will think I'm nuts but there's a picture of pants, socks, trousers and a top in their room and a picture of teeth brushing on the bathroom door. Before we go downstairs I say to the boys 'have you looked at your pictures and done everything you need to do?'. 90% of the time the visual clues work without me nagging, prompting them to get started."
9. Have a very strict routine, and don't buckle
"Breakfast cannot take longer than 15 minutes. I set a timer and they know that when it goes off they have to shovel in the last mouthfuls and get upstairs. It sounds cruel, but they actually find it quite funny and it WORKS."
10. Do as much as you can the night before
"Lunchboxes, book bag, uniform, clothes sorted - I even get the shoes out by the front door."
11. And if all else fails... make good on your threats!
"Once I took my daughter out with no breakfast as she was fannying around so much; I don't think she believed I would do it. That worked quite well actually. I have heard of other parents taking kids to school in their pyjamas - it only happens once!"