Kids and mornings and how to get them organised(31 Posts)
My 9 yo has gone to school in tears. I've come home and sobbed to myself. As usual the children have about an hour from finishing breakfast to leaving the house.
As usual they appear when I call them half dressed, with something missing or not done. Despite me shouting several time warnings upstairs and asking 'have you done your teeth?' Etc. Etc. Today I've lost it because we get in the car (later than we should leave because she had no socks on and hair not done when she appeared) and I notice her school trousers are dirty. I mean dried on glue all over both thigh areas. She tries to hide it by shuffling but I tell her I've seen and she needs to go back in and change them. I then get the inevitable 'I can't find any more...' From upstairs.
So I tell her we gave to leave now anyway. But I have then gone on and on about it all the way to school, how they both have an hour to get ready on a morning, they are not babies, they need to check their uniform the night before and if it's dirty make sure they have a clean one ready - or tell me and I'll make sure, but I can't do anything as we are leaving the bloody house! I have accused the 9 yo of being lazy and inconsiderate and cited all the examples of this she gives me daily - drops her coat on the floor when she comes home, never moves dirty dishes off the table, expects me to remember and take her school bags, swimming bags etc because she literally just puts herself in the car (half dressed and scruffy). So she's upset and by the time she's gone in still crying I'm upset too.
I don't know if I'm being unreasonable expecting her to be able to do these things without a fuss. I am sure I did at her age. Her brother is slightly older and not as bad, though guilty of some of this too, he generally needs 'reminding' and then he steps up a bit. With her I feel I'm just constantly nagging and she never, ever remembers. Even getting out of the car at school this morning after all our drama leaving the house, she is sat with her lunch box, bag and instrument case right by her, but she gets out of the car and makes to walk away towards school, and I'm cross so I did say 'oh, are you expecting your slave to bring your things again?' I really don't know how to make things more streamlined especially on a morning, but I'm reaching the end of my rope with it. Every day is the same (today is extreme, but generally each day is along these lines in a morning) yet they have so much time to get ready, do I really need to stand over them at 9 & 11 yo?
Gah. End of rant.
I can't help you because I'm in the same boat. I'm currently sitting down on the brink of tears. I haven't sent my children to school today because I have had enough.
I send them to school unkempt and looking like they have no patents, I'm a bad mother.
I send them late, I'm a bad mother.
I don't send them at all, I'm a bad mother.
Today I can't be arsed. Today I am a bad mother who is 99% less stressed that I was 20 minutes ago.
Oh MsMommie, you sound even more fraught than me. How many do you have?
These are the things I do to make sure things are done as smoothly as possible -
All their clean uniform is hanging in closet so easily accessible.
All their underwear and socks are organised in drawers so they can grab them easily.
No one comes downstairs until their teeth are brushed (dentists recommend cleaning teeth before breakfast now) and they are dressed.
They then have enough time to eat breakfast and ask me to do last minute things.
We still have shouty mornings from time to time though! Today it was because ds1 didn't want his usual breakfast that he has always insisted on. He got stroppy and I told him I wasn't a bloody mind reader and he needed to let me know earlier next time.
I know I look like I'm stalking you but We've clicked on the same active threads I think.
Don't worry about it. Tomorrow is another day.
At our eight year olds parent teacher meeting we were talking about how kids are starting to have their stuff together at that age... But they are still quite young and it is normal for them to need
so much prompting.
Sometimes when I've had a bad day, I tell them that I am not responsible for their shit and that I won't pick up the pieces. It doesn't take too many occasions of having no snack to start to get better at bringing it with you.
It feels awful letting the fail...but they will soon get told if their hair is like a scarecrow and it means you don't have to fight and they get a natural consequence.
Would it be possible for you to say. We are leaving at X time and then they have to go so they have to get to school themselves and it is their problem if they are late. Or alternatively you will wait until they are ready and if they are late then tough. (I do this for swim training/ballet - plus the coach pulls them up on it).
I think your expectations are too high in some areas, like expecting her to notice her trousers are dirty. I wouldn't have noticed at that age.
Other things like remembering swimming stuff or whatever, she can definitely do.
Why not make a checklist? Tell her to check it every day and night. If she forgets, it's her responsibility (except tooth brushing as that has long term consequences). Give her a month or so to sort herself out. She will inevitably forget her homework or whatever a few times and have to deal with the consequences and that should guide her in the right direction.
Was going to suggest same as seoul create a checklist for each day perhaps with symbols/pics rather than words to be obvious. Her job to tick off each option and then you can reward when all done. Try and focus on positive things she does do so that she doesn't feel nagged at however frustrating that may be! This eve is a fresh start and tomorrow a new day so try not to keep thinking about it
Mine are older teenagers
The theory is: clothes out the night before and nag for notes for school, bus pass sports kit musical instruments etc.
The reality is I'm often ironing and getting stuff out of the dryer, signing notes and finding my cheque book. However they usually have a good breakfast and it's
quality time not fraught. One thing that inundation is no screens. Def no to and phones are put into charge if ive not wrested them from the overnight or by the front door. Fortunately they leave before I do and I get myself ready afterwards. On the days I'm out before them they manage.
We have found these really helpful.
We ordered the list with DSs involvement and he keeps the list on a ring so he can flick it over after finnishing each thing
Hmm. I might fashion something out of the suggestions so far. Not sure exactly what yet, but things need to change as I have one going to secondary in September (will need to leave earlier so likely to have less time) and baby due then too. Really do need 9 yo to think a bit more and try and be more organised between now and then.
I feel so bad that she was upset though I'm sure she's already forgotten it all now she's at school.
4.30: get up
5.20: get DC3 up
5.55: get DC4 up
DC3 gets washed
6.55: DC4 gets washed
8.00 out the door
Clothes/uniforms taken out and lined up with socks and shoes just before bed the night before.
Bag emptied as they come in the door from school of notes/lunch boxes etc and then put back ready to go by the front door.
Those two things have saved immeasurable stress in my life!
i think 9 is too young to be responsible for checking and finding your uniform to be honest. i lay my 8 year olds clothes out for her but she is responsible for getting dressed teeth toilet eating breakfast and making her bed.
Bathsheba that seems like such a long morning! Aren't you all shattered?
Up between seven and half past
Iron uniforms and hang on door the night before. (5 and 8yrs)
Up and breakfast in pjs
Pjs in basket and get changed
Jackets and bags by the door
TV or screens or colouring
Out at half past eight
Bags emptied in the afternoon and homework done and returned to bag.
I get up at around six, put on a load of washing, help with breakfast, pack the lunches (we have boxes in the fridge and a fruit bowl, so grab one thing from each box, piece of fruit and just need to do sandwiches so it takes about two minutes!), wash breakfast dishes, do a general tidy, do their hair, make sure they are all ready and have a shower only when they are done - am usually in by eight.
OP and others in the same boat - I hear you! My DD is almost 9 and we have the same battle, late, berating and then guilt cycle lots of mornings.
When I'm organised and have the magic combination of time + energy, I do what I can to make it as easy as possible for them ahead of time, so making sure they have clean stuff in accessible places the night before, getting them out of bed a bit earlier, banning anything recreational until they are dressed and ready, etc
Little changes do work but take time to cement so that I can have a shower etc and know they are actually doing what's needed, but I'm pushing on! I do still have to stand over them. They seem to think that socks, teeth and hair are optional jobs!
Today I reminded them brightly that a little effort at the right time means we all have a better start to our day. Trying to remind them that it's not nice for any of us when they take the piss and I get cross!
2x DD 9yrs twins
Bags sorted the night before and by the door and all bags searched for letters notes etc when they get in
Any letters or notes which they "remember" about at 8.29am or whatever are just not dealt with (they got the message after a couple of mishaps...)
Reminders on my phone for which days they need what as a back up
Clothes out night before or they know to drag them off the drying rack
I get up at 6.15/30 and am ready before I get them up at 7 and they know they have 30 mins to get ready to come down for breakfast, which involves toilet, face wash, get dressed, brush hair and make beds.
Bfast is 7.30 onwards. If they are there for 7.30 and they've done all the other bits too then they earn 10p on a chart (paid at end of week)
If one there but not the other then the first one gets the second one's 10p on the chart thing. If no one there for 7.30 I get to keep 20p! Again, only needs to happen a couple of times before message sinks in!
Bfast is leisurely and then it's just a case of teeth brushing, shoes, coats and get the school bus.
No screens - not even for grown ups
I struggled for ages to come up with a working system and occasionally there are still shouty mornings, but at least on the days that I need to leave at 8 for work, I know that they are all ready for school and are eating well before I leave even if DH lets them watch telly after bfast when I've left (turn a blind eye...)
Paying dinner money etc in advance on line for each month really helped.
Good luck! Am sure you'll work out a system that works for you all xx
Should have said that while they get ready between 7-7.30 I hang up wet washing from previous night, put new load on, clear up after incontinent dog, sort kitchen/dishwasher and lay the bfast table.
It sounds busy cos it is but it does work.
When baby arrives in September I guess this finely tuned schedule will go completely tits up, but we'll see....
Seriously, I go to work full time for relaxation and a rest!
Print that off and give it to your DH for when new baby arrives
We were always running late last year. This year I've changed our morning routine so that DC have to get dressed before they come down the stairs for breakfast. It stopped all the moaning and procrastinating about getting dressed after breakfast as they know now that they won't eat until they are dressed. After breakfast, face wash and teeth - I now have extra toothbrushes and toothpaste in the downstairs toilet so no messing around going up and down the stairs. If they get all their jobs done they are allowed to play/watch a bit of telly but they have to get shoes and coats on 5 min before we leave the house (and we leave the house 20 min before school even though only a 10 min walk).
Life has been much smoother with the new system and my DC are 3 and 5 - if they can do it then a 9 year old def should. I think the key is consistency, same routine every day.
Routine is key.
Everything out the night before.
Dressed before breakfast.
Repeat for fifteen years.
Op, a couple of years ago I had mornings like you described. I have now 4 children. I have to be at work by 9.
5.45 up and shower.
6.15 start getting up dcs change the ones in nappys. Push washing on
6.30 start to lay up breakfast empty dishwasher etc
7.00 wake up oldest Ds. Breakfast and playing till 7.30ish,,, (loading dishwasher and cleaning up after breakfast.
Get all dressed Ds sorts himself out
8.00. Brush hairs and finish lunch boxes. (Sandwiches are made the night before)
8.20 all in car. Ds 11. Leaves after us at 8.30
I had to become more organised. Know what I am the children are wearing the next day. MKe sure I'm completely ready by the time they get up. Teeth brushed. Make up on.
The hardest thing to change was to get up earlier.
Hope that helps op.
We're now working on age-appropriate chores for evenings - 1 a day per kid, they choose which one, cross off list, when all crossed out then get new list and start again. God, it makes me sound like a controlling workhouse matron, but by George does it get the crappy hoovering jobs done.
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