to find school mornings so stressful I'm on.the verge of tears?(90 Posts)
So I have a 4 and 7 year old and I find school mornings so stressful. My youngest never wants to get dressed or go to nursery, they fight, they scream about some toy I need to find now as their life depends on it. All amongst a messy house tidied yesterday. I just can't cope with this stress. Too much shouting and screaming from.them. I then get very agitated and unfortunately have peri menopause which can make you very irritable and angry and have a lack of control over these emotions.
My question is - do you get very stressed before school days woth two young children or more? Or do you think mu symptoms play a large part in this?
I'm so worried my children are mirroring my own anger and this will become their default mechanism. I am working on a way to make myself better though it is not easy.
thank you please go gently
No answers, but not just you. I have the 7 yr old, 4 yr old and a 6 month old. The worst thing is the 7 yr old regressing and being just as annoying as the 4yr old!
How early are you all getting up? Are you giving yourselves enough time?
Sort out schoolbags the night before. Make packed lunches the night before. Lay out all clothes the night before. Make breakfast something easy like toast and microwaved scrambled eggs or weetabix with banana. Something easy to make.
Then get up early enough to so everything without rushing and shouting. We're all up at 6 and we don't leave the house until 8.45. Plenty of time for the kids to eat breakfast, have a play or watch a cartoon, shower and dress. And I don't need to do anything because it's all sorted the night before.
However, if you go about screaming and shouting then your kids will be learning that because 2 kids screaming all morning isn't the norm.
It can be very stressful, mine are 6, 4 and 2. But there are strategies that can make things easier. What have you tried? Getting things ready the night before and setting timers for things like getting dressed have helped us. (Not that they always work - yesterday DD6 drew all over the walls when she was supposed to be getting dressed )
Has this been going on for a while? Some things which help with smooth running was making sure everyone was up early enough to get ready (after a good nights sleep), books and bags ready by the door the night before, no toys allowed on the school run (they could get lost).
No tv until everyone is dressed and ready (family rule), you can play with toys once your dressed.
Could try mixing up the order to motivate, so no breakfast until clothes on - get them used to it by having some fancier food (pancakes, fruit/yoghurt) .
Its a slog getting a good morning routine sorted - but it does get easier.
Get everything ready the night before. Bags by the door. Coats and shoes ready.
Breakfast things ready.
So you have the absolute minimum of getting ready to do.
7 year old would benefit from a reward system like a star tree or pasta jar with a small reward for good behaviour.
School can reinforce this.
7 year old can dress themselves.
4 year old should be able to respond to a reward system.
You might have to take them to nursery in pjs once. I have seen that happen.
No distractions in the morning.
Do you have a partner there to help?
Maybe the night before, ask them both to choose one toy they want to play with the next morning. You keep the toy. Lay out their clothes for the next day. Once they've had breakfast and got dressed, they get the toy.
Is it bad all morning or is it literally the last 2 minutes before you leave? We have lovely mornings but I find that no matter how much time I leave, there's always a last minute poo / letter to sign / item to find. I've just accepted it and try to make sure I've got what I can ready, and that any last minute rows are shut in the house so we can have a nice walk to school. Can you walk to school sometimes? I wouldn't deal too well with the car seat traumas so would avoid a school run in the car as much as possible.
I don't allow toys to be taken on the school run. Book bags, water bottles and lunch boxes go in one large carrier bag 20 minutes before we leave and are left by the door for me to grab on the way out. Toothbrushes are toothpasted when I get out of the shower and kids sent up to do independently along with a last minute wee. Baby wipes by front door for last minute face wiping. In winter coats are popped on the radiator as this seems to entice them to put them on. In summer we go out of the back door and they're allowed 5 minutes in the garden if they're ready i
(As in, fully ready with house locked up as though we've left, no more wees or faffery!) in time. I have 4 kids, although only 2 at school, the eldest is 7, but it seems to work.
I’d echo the above. If you can do all the prep the night before, it can take the pressure off the morning. Mine at that age were allowed to choose one cartoon / show each while they were getting ready (so I think one picked at 7.30, one picked at 8, and then the tv went off by 8.30). I also wouldn’t be afraid to use the odd bribe if it helps!
But if you feel your hormones are affecting your mood too much then I’d have a word with your GP.
I found getting up earlier helped enormously. Also if you can get up first so you can have a bit of chill time on your own with a coffee. Bliss!
thanks some really good suggestions. We live so close to school they almost have too much time to play.
This goes in fits and spurts. But mostly it is bad. I am.going to try getting dressed before anything.
My husband is never there to help and I've asked him to help and he sort of helps eorh uniforms but not enough I feel. He really just walks out the door and I do it all. This morning he slept through his alarm then wondered why I did not wake him.Ah cause you are a grown man.
The screaming and shouting is bad and I know part of it comes from my peri menopause. I am trying so hard to be calm bit it is like having an alien invasion inside you.
this morning I was calm.but my 7 year old was beside herself at losing an LOL outfit!!!! Ahhhhhhh!!!!!
I’ve started a new rule. No toys. Get up get dressed sit at kitchen table eat breakfast and draw. Then straight to shoes and coats then go. Toys make them want to play and play up!
vulpine - exactly what i did this morning. An hour to myself 6-7
I don't have any advice. I only have to wrangle one 7 year old DD but it can be an absolute nightmare when she refuses to get dressed because she doesn't want to go to school I very often lose my temper because we're always pushed for time and it stresses me out
I just try and bribe her as much as I can, promises of treats at the weekend if she gets dressed/lets me brush her hair/teeth and 9 times out of 10 it works
Don't be too hard on yourself OP, mornings can be so stressful
cold. thank you. good ideas. I am.working eith my GP closely it is just a matter of finding the right thing that works for you. At lthe moment most days I dont feel the happy person I was and I feel very angry.
Get everything organised night before.
Kids wake up, eat br, get dressed, brush hair and teeth, out shoes on. Then any time left is for homework, reading etc. Not toys or TV.
If you need child free time to tidy up, put them in the garden with their coats and shoes already on whilst you load dishwasher and lock up
I also find this with my lot, I’m trying different routine changes to try to make it a bit easier. I’ve started prepping the night before, keeping wipes and a hairbrush in the car for last minute tidy up, I let my big two (6 and 4) out to play in the back garden from 8-830 unless it’s pouring so they can run off some energy.
Also, your husband should be helping if he is around in the morning. I have to leave for work much earlier than my DH on the days I work and always make sure I’ve got at least 1 child dressed to make it easier for them all to be ready on time.
I don't think you are alone! It is very stressful trying to get kids out the door as they really don't understand the urgency or time. Despite my best efforts I have been known to get a bit shouty occasionally
on most days. Mine are 6 and we have to get them to the bus by 7.45. Strategies that have worked include giving them a snack on waking (my daughter gets hangry!). Teeth cleaning before breakfast (a lot of dentists recommend this anyway), and bribery - e.g. get dressed quick and we can read a story over breakfast. We now also have a rule that if they miss the bus through their own fault they don't get their TV/tech hour in the evening. We did try one of those clocks with the painted time sections but that would work better if I actually remembered to change the batteries.
Thanks Foo - it is tricky isn't it. I am.sorry it is hard for you too. I hope you can find a calming momemt after drop off. i need a coffee and a walk to let off steam!
Get everything ready the night before, get up a bit earlier, it worked for me.
I absolutely sympathise! School mornings can be hellish! I have frequently felt like I need some sort of medal for successfully getting my children to school, on time, correctly dressed, teeth brushed with all the correct stuff. But I promise it is getting slightly easier as they get older (youngest is Y2). One of mine is particularly lousy in the mornings and shouts, won't co-operate - it's awful. Really is a daily struggle and I long for the holidays when I can actually enjoy their company rather than being on their case constantly. A few things that make it run more smoothly for me are:
I get up about 2 hours before we need to go, shower straight away and get myself fully ready so that I can then focus on children.
Children need to get dressed before going downstairs for breakfast (I used to give them breakfast in PJs in an attempt to keep uniform clean). It takes far more time if you have to chase them back upstairs again.
Always keep school shoes in a box by the door (if they go upstairs they get lost under beds etc etc)
Ideally pack bags, snacks etc the night before (this doesn't always happen though).
On a bad day I will give out a beaker of milk and a little pot of Cheerios or a sandwich for breakfast to be eaten in the car to save time (obvs won't work if you walk or cycle).
My husband leaves around 7.30 so doesnt do muvh though I feel he coukd do more. He knows how stressful it is for me
Oh god, I feel your pain! It’s not so bad now since I’ve put a schedule in place though. Sit down with them tonight and draw out in a list, the things that need to be done in the morning, in the order that happens in your house. Ie get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth and hair, get shoes on, get jackets and hats on! Colour the page in or decorate it and sick it on the fridge where they can see it. Draw pictures beside the sentences so your four year old can understand, like teeth and a tooth brush for bushing his teeth ect. Tomorrow make them check the list instead of asking you what they need and tell them that there is no sitting down until the list is done. If they finish the list really quickly, they might have time for 5 minutes of t.v. Anything that’s not in the list doesn’t happen, ie running round looking for a toy unless they really need it. Get their clothes out the night before and pack their lunches so they are ready to go. The list for the morning on my fridge has literally saved me from being a screaming nut case with no patience. I hope this helps!🙂
The night before I do a hanger with a full days uniform - down to socks and pants and shoes all hung on the hanger. I sort her school bag and her snack and lunchbox if she is having packed. I do any notes for school, pe kit or anything odd that she needs.
In the morning I get up first and wash and dress (it literally takes me 5 minutes). We need an hour for her to get up, play on her tablet whilst I make breakfast, eat breakfast for her to get washed, teeth done, hair brushed and dressed. We then have a check-list by the door as she needs hearing aids and now glasses on before we can leave. We have plenty of time for everything and she knows that if she is dressed early she can play until it is time to leave.
We used to be more free-form but then got a puppy which made life HARD! she is 8 now so mostly is fine to wash, dress etc. herself but we keep to the routine and it means no yelling or stress - just me saying "right, breakfast is done - teeth time next" and she just goes along with. I sometimes have my niece and nephew too (aged 9 with ADHD and 5). That ups the stress levels a bit but even so if I am pre-organised the night before I can get through it with little angst!
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