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School-run Psychosis: ALWAYS LATE and it's driving me **mental** - please help!!

(108 Posts)
FlossieT Wed 21-Jan-09 10:05:23

Sorry about all the punctuation....

Why are we always, always, always 5 minutes (sometimes more) late for school?

I have tried:
- putting clothes out, laying breakfast table and getting school bags ready the night before
- insisting children are dressed before they come down for breakfast
- HELPING the children get dressed before they come down for breakfast (as in, literally putting the shirts over their rotten little heads)
- getting up earlier
- starting to try to leave the house earlier

and NOTHING seems to work - invariably, I am a screaming banshee in the hallway and the boys are hopping around aimlessly, shoeless and vacant.

If you have solved this problem - or even found some clever tricks that make it less terrible - I would love it if you would share them as I am going out of my tiny mind trying to address this.

Yours just-about-clinging-to-sanity-by-the-tips-of-my-fingertips...

DisasterArea Wed 21-Jan-09 10:07:24

set your clocks 15 minutes earlier. and get up an hour before you think you have to.

Sparkler Wed 21-Jan-09 10:08:05

Ahhhhhhh welcome to my world!! smile
Doesn't matter if I do any of those things either we still manage to be late. Even if I haven't had chance to get anything ready the night before and I have to make lunchboxes, iron uniforms in the morning we still get to school at the same time - you'd have thought we'd be even later but it doesn't work like that - most odd!!

Highlander Wed 21-Jan-09 10:08:19

very interested as DS1 starts school in Sep.

Rubyrubyruby Wed 21-Jan-09 10:09:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FlossieT Wed 21-Jan-09 10:11:16

@DisasterArea, the clocks are all 15 minutes fast already (actually that one predates the kids, DH is also hopeless about punctuality). I'm cringing already at the thought of getting up an hour earlier.... ow.

MrsMattie Wed 21-Jan-09 10:13:25

I have the opposite problem - am always early and standing like a saddo outside the closed gates grin

I have a fear of being late, though...

I found that getting up much earlier than I need to and giving myself much more time than I think I'll need is the key. We are up at 7am although dont have to leave the house until 8.45am.

DisasterArea Wed 21-Jan-09 10:13:52

yes it hurts.
on days when i'm working early and don't have to get the DDs up i can get up, shower, iron uniform, feed cats and dogs, and have coffee and be out in half an hour.
days when i have to get them up it takes an hour and 40 minutes.

chocolatedot Wed 21-Jan-09 10:16:29

I get up at 6.15am and we leave at 8.10 am. It means I have a nice relaxed time, am able to hang out wshing etc and we are always there as the gates open.

Watoose Wed 21-Jan-09 10:23:05

I wonder if it would help if you take say ten minutes for each child, and actually focus on that child and dress them yourself.

I have boys too - mine needs constant supervision to actually do anything I ask him to especially in the morning.

I find these things work:

Get myself ready first (apart from keys, purse, coat and shoes)

Turn off the telly until everyone is dressed (or after they have had a bit of relaxing time) or nothing gets done at all. I usually turn ours off about 15 mins before we have to leave, should do it sooner but I only have one at school so far so am lazy smile

Take ds in hand and actually follow him round the hosue getting him ready. So, take him into bedroom, say 'off with these' and take off his pj's, thn grab from drawer and hand him one item at a time - pants ON, trousers ON, ('good ds!') t shirt ON, now go and find your jumper (he won't - unless I say when you have got your jumper on you can choose a toy to bring with you)

Once I have started him off, (I call it speed dressing!) he is usually on a roll and can finish himself. He does his teeth and we go.

I have a toddler to dress as well which I normally leave till last few mins while ds is faffing about doing power moves in the hall or watching last thing on telly etc.

Basically supervision works best.

bobsyouruncle Wed 21-Jan-09 10:25:04

Do you personally take long to get organised in the morning? I used to try and have a shower and dry my hair before the school run, but I've given up and have a shower in the evening instead. It means I can focus on getting my dc ready and out the door, and has made a difference. That and moving next door to the school wink

Watoose Wed 21-Jan-09 10:25:07

We get up between 6 and 7, btw - out around 8.15, but I aim for 8 which gives me a bit of leeway.
I usually MN or whatever for about an hour while they watch telly and have random breakfast blush

NormaJeanBaker Wed 21-Jan-09 10:25:22

Put them to bed in the car fully clothed and park outside the school for the night. Take a flask of gin and a radio.

ginnny Wed 21-Jan-09 10:28:24

Get up late grin!
When we get up early and have plenty of time we are never out the door on time. However when we oversleep and its all a big rush we make it (sometimes we are even earlier). I think its the panic of the situation makes them rush!!
Having said that it really is stressful doing that and I always end up feeling guilty when they've gone because I've shouted so much and been so snippy with them.

senua Wed 21-Jan-09 10:28:55

We do a car-share so have to be ready for when the other (punctual!)family turn up. Can you manufacture something similar (e.g. neighbour knocks the door and you do a walking bus?)

ComeOVeneer Wed 21-Jan-09 10:29:17

Sorry but I really don't understand people who are always late. I get up at 7.30am and we are out the house 8.35am. Clothes are out the night before as are breakfast things, pack lunches ready in fridge, all shoes, coats and bags ready by the door. I shower, dress, come down dress ds (4), dd dresses herself (7), do breakfast, they clean teeth (I do both afterwards), brush hair , coats and bags and out the door.

HSMM Wed 21-Jan-09 10:30:42

I get myself up and ready before DD's alarm goes off. We leave at 0830 whatever state she's in. Still doesn't stop me screaming and tearing my hair out though!

Watoose Wed 21-Jan-09 10:32:18

I'm never really late for anything either CoV. I can't understand it when people are - unless they are doing it because they really don't want to be there?

I was late a couple of times taking ds to school when he was tiny and I wasn't getting on well with the school - basically I didn't want him to be there. It's kind of passive aggressive.

I have dumped a bloke for being half an hour late to meet me - I just knew it wouldn't get better...

Bink Wed 21-Jan-09 10:32:35

To be at school on time we would have to leave home by 8.15.

AND SO the time set, and absolutely fixed in the children's minds, as our leaving time is 7.45 - ie a full half-hour before we need to.

We almost never leave on the dot of 7.45 - it's more often around 5 to 8 - but as soon as it's 7.40 the children notice time ticking down because they see 7.45 as the deadline.

cory Wed 21-Jan-09 10:34:55

I am not actually late and never have been, but I have to say that I do understand people who are. If you've got a child who will get on with it and dress themselves without a fuss, that's fine; if not, you will have to work harder. As I said, I have more or less managed it- but it's knocked years off my life!

Have now devised a sort of system that seems to work, with exact instructions given at set times during the morning; they know exactly what they have to do when and I get time to Mumsnet in between.

Gorionine Wed 21-Jan-09 10:35:49

Nice to feel in company!

MrsMattie we do the same wake up at 7am to leave at arround 8:35 and in my case I think it actualli is the problem, too much time to do things snd they loose focus on what they have to do. I will fronm next mionday, try to wake them at 7:30 so they have to get on with it. I will see how it works. So far I have tried the following useless methodes on my 4 DCs ( well 3 as DD4 is two and I get her ready)

- to tell 10 times the same thing to make sure they have "got it"

-telling them a couple of time and responsabilise them.

-Telling them once and ask them to repeat to me what I had asked to make sure they heard and understood.

-Telling them that if they are ready faster they can watch a bit of telly

-making a written list ( eat the breackfast ready for them on the table, go upstairs to wash and get dressed,check their homework is in their bag, take bookpack+lunchbox put shoes and jacket)

-got Them to write a list thinking they might remember better.

-left them be late to be told off by teacher rather than me

- be very nice with them hopping to get trough to them better

-screaming from the top of my voice that they has to get on with it.

-This weeks scheme is "if I don't have to shout you get a sweet or 20p in a jar that you can spend/eat on Friday 9 so far all jarres are still empty!)

-Next week , well as I mentionned before, I wil give tham less time to avoid dreaming and playing instead of getting ready I hope it will work because I really, really cannot think about anything else!

Maybe one of these methods might work better for you than it did for me! Good luck!

Umlellala Wed 21-Jan-09 10:36:27

I think people are either naturally late or naturally early people. Though you can do stuff to be on time if you are prone to lateness (I have a theory that if you were born late you are a late person... ?)

Things that work for me - having leaving time in head of 5 mins earlier.
getting mysaelf ready first. clocks set wrong time...

Agree that it's often when we are up at 6.30 that we get to plagroup late hmm

Watoose Wed 21-Jan-09 10:36:42

Yes but Cory, surely if your child is consistently hard to get ready, you would try and factor this into the time you allow? I can understand it on occasions but honestly every day is a bit, well it's a problem for everyone really.

ComeOVeneer Wed 21-Jan-09 10:39:28

I don't get the set the clocks wrong, you know they are wrong so what is the point, and the children don't care anyway!

DD is thankfully fairly co-operative, ds is not. I just pin him down and get on with it. Plus we have an absolute rule of no tv in the morning Mon-Fri.

Watoose Wed 21-Jan-09 10:39:40

Gorionine - I don't know if it would work as I've only two kids, but is there a way you could actually do the things with your child(ren) - I mean if one is a bit more disorganised then the others -

I can scream at ds and tell him twenty times, he still won't do something unless I actually get down and do it with him (or for him as he's 5)

Screaming didn't work, I did it for about 2 years!! Then realised I could just get him ready in minutes if I concentrated on him and helped him iyswim.

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