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To expect kids to get themselves ready for school?

(44 Posts)
chainedtothedesk Thu 14-Dec-17 08:43:56

Aged 10 and 7. Wondering how much they should be able to do themselves without prompting. They need to remember to bring the same things everday (homework book, fruit, book bag)and do the same thing every day (dress, wash, eat breakfast and brush teeth). So why is it so hard to get them out the door without a fuss? Am I expecting too much for kids their ages?

Bluelonerose Thu 14-Dec-17 08:46:19

Do they watch tv or play on computers in the morning?
With ds2 (7) he knows he has to get up, make his bed, have breakfast & get his coat bags and shoes ready. As soon as he's done that he's allowed on his tablet until it's time to go.
That way he knows the quicker he does his jobs the mire free time he gets. Hth

megletthesecond Thu 14-Dec-17 08:47:20


Can't get mine to do it though.

relaxitllbeok Thu 14-Dec-17 08:47:22

You'll probably get a lot of different views: I think the truth is that it depends a lot on the child and on you (being able to do this doesn't just happen, you have to teach it!) My DS needed lots of direction at 7, but had it sorted by 10; ymmv.

chainedtothedesk Thu 14-Dec-17 09:01:25

No screens in the morning at all. I wake them at about 7:30 and we need to leave an hour later. That's long enough surely?
They seem to forget that every day they need a coat and shoes on before they leave the house. And there is always an argument going on with one of them muttering to the other then coming to me to tell me how the other has done this or done that.

Frederickvonhefferneffer Thu 14-Dec-17 09:04:41

I have a laminated check list for mine! It has really helped though my mil thinks it’s terrible!

ceeveebee Thu 14-Dec-17 09:07:23

I don’t let my 6yo twins downstairs until they are dressed, which really helps as they are always “starving” when they wake so they dress quickly!! And we wake at 7 to leave house at 745am

danTDM Thu 14-Dec-17 09:08:40

My DD (9) is very good, sets the alarm on her tablet, gets dressed, makes toast and gets juice.

THEN I get up and it goes to pot, endless 'get your shoes, get your coat, clean your teeth' It is so annoying. Every single day.

I do do her hair for her as it is long and curly. But apart from that, it's almost as if she has no responsibility once I get up!

LuchiMangsho Thu 14-Dec-17 09:08:43

Ok so my 6 year old wakes up. His clothes are put out the night before so he gets dressed and then comes up to say hi to his baby brother and we all head downstairs. I heat up milk and make his toast. He eats, then gets his bookbag and snack (banana)ready. While I am dealing with the baby and getting ready for work he needs to put on his shoes and socks and his coat and bring me his toothbrush with paste. This last bit can take anything from 3-4 mins to 15 mins on a slow day. It's maddening. But we do the same thing every day. There is no time for TV or screens or anything else.

stickytoffeevodka Thu 14-Dec-17 09:09:41

I think, especially at 7, it helps if you have everything laid out the night before. So uniform laid out, bags packed, lunches/snacks ready to grab and go, shoes/coats ready by the door. They're easily distracted at that age, so the more that's done the night before, the better.

I would expect at 10yo to be able to get ready, though. By 11, most kids are getting themselves ready and off to school, often being responsible for locking the house and catching the bus without a parent being around to guide them.

danTDM Thu 14-Dec-17 09:11:05

Yes, my DH puts a list on the door for when she stays with him. That's only once a week though, he is stricter than me I suppose.
He says it works though.

Cakedoesntjudge Thu 14-Dec-17 09:11:57

I agree with a PP, it depends massively on the child.

I was a nightmare as a child, constantly wandering about with my head in the clouds and my mum had to permanently be on my case and even then I'd forget something (I was sent home in year 1 once for proudly announcing I'd forgotten to put on my knickers!!).

However, DS (7) is fiercely independent to the point it makes me feel a bit redundant on school mornings. He is an early waker and by the time I'm up between 7-7:30, he is up, dressed, has had breakfast, has done his teeth and face and has his coat and shoes on and stuff ready to go by the door. The only thing I still do is his packed lunch.

To be fair though, it just makes me feel guilty and a bit sad that I'm not needed as much anymore but I suppose I should see it as being a good thing for learning to be independent!

Ski4130 Thu 14-Dec-17 09:13:08

Mine are 13, 10 and 7. The 13 year old gets himself up, showered, dressed and out the door with PE kit/homework etc with zero nagging. The 10 year old is a lazy wee article, who'd lounge in bed 'til 5 minutes before we leave for school if we let him, so he needs major prodding. The 7 year old gets herself dressed and fed, but is prone to forgetting school bag/swim kit etc if not constantly reminded. The only thing that keeps me going is that the 13 year old was much the same as his younger siblings, until he started secondary school and the consequences for lateness/forgetting homework got bigger - detentions, missing out on good behaviour rewards etc. There is hope :-)

relaxitllbeok Thu 14-Dec-17 09:13:20

That's plenty of time, yes (in fact, in some ways less time makes it easier - no time to waste!) but it's easy to believe having two makes it harder!

This sounds like a case for the kind of explicit problem solving recommended in How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk (a book I highly recommend). That is, at a calm time, actually sit down together and discuss the problem ("this is a problem for me because it makes me feel stressed" or whatever), all suggest solutions, to start with write them all down however impractical, then go through and eliminate the ones that are unacceptable to someone, and make a plan from what remains. It can feel like overkill when they should just do it, dammit, but you do get buy in: I used to use this a lot. (In fact this reminds me that we did once use it for morning stress, with the surprising result that DS wanted to be woken 10 minutes earlier so there was time for a cuddle before going into the morning routine. It worked!)

Eg one thing to consider: having a list for them to tick off what they've done. We have a laminator (good toy) and this would be a good application: I'd get each to word process and laminate a list and tick things off as they're done. But they might have better ideas...

danTDM Thu 14-Dec-17 09:14:14

I do everything the night before, lay out uniform, do the snack check water bottle, homework etc. Doesn't make any difference really. If I didn't do that mornings would be a nightmare but to be honest she still dithers and seems shocked she needs to put her coat on hmm

CurlsandCurves Thu 14-Dec-17 09:14:20

DS2 is 8. He will do his own breakfast, then go and get dressed. He also packs his own lunchbox ( I make the sandwich, veg, drink, etc). I’ve never had to ask, he’s always wanted to do it all by himself (controlfreak).

TinselAngel Thu 14-Dec-17 09:16:16

I wrote a list of tasks on a whiteboard for my daughter at that age and took myself out of the equation altogether.

Turned out she was quite capable of getting herself ready without me yelling at her.

WickedLazy Thu 14-Dec-17 09:26:18

Ds 6 is a daydreamer. Another one who would happily go to school in bare feet, unless reminded to put socks and shoes on. He's not very independent at all when it comes to getting ready, I have to remind him every step of the way, where's your coat? Did you brush your teeth? etc. Maybe a check list would be a good idea for us? He's also prone to wondering off to do something else mid task, or being easily distracted (ooh look, something shiny!). It's frustrating, and I do get sick of repeating myself every day, (he doesn't seem to retain any of the this info, though I've been repeating it 5 mornings a week for 3 and a half years).

chainedtothedesk Thu 14-Dec-17 09:28:42

Thanks for the feedback. I definitely need to write a checklist for them. Or get them to write it!
relaxitllbeok - thanks for recommendation. I have that book so perhaps need to refresh my memory!
Will start new year with new positive outlook and routine!

ChiBox Thu 14-Dec-17 09:31:50

I feel your pain, 10 and 7 year old here too. We have lists, half works. They don't do anything without prompting repeatedly. No Tv in the morning either.

TinselAngel Thu 14-Dec-17 10:20:55

When you've written the list, you need to be prepared to follow through on the threat that they leave the house as they are at a certain time- ie in pyjamas. If they don't get ready on time.

I always used to say I'd have to publicly apologise to DD's teacher when we got to school. "I'm terribly sorry DD is still in her pyjamas. It seems that unlike all her friends, she is incapable of getting herself ready in the morning".

I never had to follow through.

MrsU88 Thu 14-Dec-17 10:35:38

mine are 6 and 9....
they both get themselves dressed. (i get the uniform ready, 9 yr old has to get his own underwear, at weekends they choose their own clothes)

I make breakfast. They both take their bowls to the sink, then get their own vitamins.

9 yr old brushes his own teeth, 6 yr old does hers with supervision.

I make 9 yr olds packed lunch, he makes his drink, it is HIS responsibility to put it into his bag along with everything else he needs for the day. (6 yr old is school dinner as they're free so no packed lunch needed)

I say when its time to get ready to go and they both get their own coats and shoes on, bags on backs ready to leave.

They have an hour from waking to going out of the door, they don't watch any children's tv and can only "play" once everything is ready for leaving. They have been told if they don't get ready on time they will be walking to school however they are when its time to leave....only once did one of them not get shoes on in time so we went to leave with them still in socks....cue lots of crying and frantically putting shoes on...not happened since.

Seniorcitizen1 Thu 14-Dec-17 12:19:25

On my first day at school in 1961 I got myself dressed in uniform. On my son’s first day at school in 1995 he got homself dressed in iniform. Given your childres ages they should be able to get themselves ready

LostInTheTunnelOfGoats Thu 14-Dec-17 12:29:46

My DD aged 10 does everything for herself now in the mornings. DH wakes her up and she takes it from there. It's been that way for a good few years now, but we had a fairly strict routine to begin with and I did do a checklist for her when she was 7 or so. I think she got so sick of hearing "have you checked the list" that she learned pretty quickly!

RedSkyAtNight Thu 14-Dec-17 12:39:26

Checklist of things that need doing in order until it's second nature
Mental (or written) not of times by which things need to be done (if you've not eaten your breakfast by 8am we'll be late ...)
List of things that need to be taken to school (with variations for day of week) - again, until it's second nature. Run through this checklist with them before you leave until they get it themselves.

Whilst it does depend on the child, I see no reason why both children can't manage this. In the case of the 10 year old - better to get them in the habit of doing it now, rather than when they get to secondary school and have way more to remember (cue numerous threads on the Secondary Education board where DC who always had everything done for them have collapsed in disorganized heap).

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