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How do you keep calm in the mornings?

(44 Posts)
tellthetime Tue 04-Oct-11 09:57:10

I feel like i have been cross with my dcs most mornings before school. This is normally because they get dressed too slow, they eat breakfast too slow, they mess around when they are supposed to be getting shoes on etc. Even though i tell them the same things every day, they are the same every day. Is it possible to have a stress free morning?

munstersmum Tue 04-Oct-11 10:02:25

Depends on the age of the DC?
I was a bad mother who permitted TV in the morning and things have improved big time since no TV or DS on school mornings.

mankyscotslass Tue 04-Oct-11 10:05:13

I feel like that sometimes too.

What has helped is me getting up a lot earlier than them so I am ready when they get up, and no TV or DS before school.

We still have mornings when things are manic, and I feel like all I have done is shout, but it has definitely improved.

tellthetime Tue 04-Oct-11 10:08:17

Hello there. My dc are 6 and 4. My dd (4) is really slow eating breakfast and i feel like i have to really keep on at her. She also argues about her hairstyles and takes the bobbles out if she doesn't like what i have done which is incredibly annoying.

Elibean Tue 04-Oct-11 10:13:48

My turning point with dd1 was to hand her the responsibility. ie very calmly saying 'its ok if you want to take your time, but you will be late. You will miss the bell/have to explain to your teacher.' Then biting my tongue and leaving the room. grin

I think she was either in Reception or Y1 at the time, and it worked beautifully.

dd2 is easier anyway, but as she is only 4 on slow/bad mornings I use distraction - I sing songs or think of interesting things to mention (aka inane things, at that time of morning).

Then I plop them in front of CBeebies with hot chocolate (we're half French) and go have my own shower/get dressed. Then we all have breakfast together and out.

That said, it doesn't work 100% and dh is often around in the mornings to help make packed lunches etc - which helps a lot. The crossest mornings are the ones when I'm either over tired, unwell, or plain stressed: then they pick up on my mood and it all goes pear shaped.

KittyWalker Tue 04-Oct-11 10:16:44

I have banned TV.

I get as much prepared the night before.

I don't have my breakfast til I get back from the school run.

I try and get up 15 mins earlier than the DCs but that doesn't happen every day blush

IndigoBell Tue 04-Oct-11 10:24:30

We get up really early.

It really helps smile

CaptainNancy Tue 04-Oct-11 10:25:57

I have resigned myself to the fact that mornings will just be a barrage of chivvying tbh. I am calm now, but relentless.
Just my 5yo needs it, younger one just does what he's supposed to. She is improving slightly with age though, so maybe it's working...

The hair thing is infuriating I know <<sigh>>
Can you cut it short? (i.e. does she want it long, and can be persuaded to let you do her hair that way?)

sfxmum Tue 04-Oct-11 10:31:26

I only have one, 6yr old, who left to her own devices will linger over every task for ever
however we have rules of no telly and I give her the responsibility of watching the clock ( by such time this must be done etc)

I take care that the basics are done but if she wants her hair done, she has to move and be ready early enough any extras will be done between the time she is ready and the time that we must leave, she understands this

also I wake up early enough to have a cup of coffee and sort out my stuff before getting her up

Saracen Tue 04-Oct-11 10:42:19

If you all are up early enough then you could offer a reward of some sort for being ready in good time. For example, you could enjoy a story together either at home or in the school grounds, or have a detour to a park on the way to school.

ShowOfHands Tue 04-Oct-11 10:52:34

Get enough sleep yourself so that you're not cross (sometimes tough I know if you have younger children), get yourself up before your child and get them up with plenty of time to go.

I have uniform hanging up ready in dd's room in an evening, packed lunch in the fridge, book bag and coat by the door. So dd only has to get up, go to the bathroom and have a wee/quick wash, dress, breakfast, teeth and out.

DD knows that she has to get dressed before she can come downstairs so she's usually pretty quick. I prepare her breakfast while she dresses, she then sits down to eat it as soon as she's downstairs. We have a music cd of hers on while she eats and if she starts messing about, I switch it off. Once she's eaten breakfast she knows that if she brushes her teeth in good time we can play/read/dance for 15 minutes before it's time to go. She knows what's expected, I make a game of it if she's flagging/bored/messing about so the situation doesn't escalate and have a knock on effect. So if I go up to her room and she's turned her socks into puppets and is reenacting Shrek with them I'll go for 'very good dd, can you put them on your feet and do the same actions?' instead of 'hurry up dd you'll be late' which just creates bad feeling.

redskyatnight Tue 04-Oct-11 11:02:12

I also give my DC (7 and 5) the responsibility of getting themselves ready. If they really seem to do nothing I quietly chivy them along.

We also use TV as a reward - if they are completely ready to go they are allowed to watch TV - but not before.

Also make sure we have plenty of time - so there's not the same feeling of everything being a rush.

Our "must leave by" time also means we get to school in very good time, so we do have contingency to slip it if really needed.

howtocalmachild Tue 04-Oct-11 11:38:15

In our house 7, 5 and little one. They get dressed, make beds and tidy room whilst I'm getting showered. When I'm on my own the stair gate isn't to be opened until I'm ready (I hate chasing toddler back up to get dressed which would result in a tantrum). They eat breakfast then clean teeth. They do their spelling and then we leave house. We've had to start getting up a little earlier to avoid stress. Need to be up at 7am to be out of the house by 830am. 7 year old decided that she wasn't going to play ball the other morning and pull her bed over and clear her floor (about 4 toys) I calmly stood my ground that breakfast wouldn't be served until she did as she normally would: bed, dressed, clear floor. She pushed it until 8.20 when she appeared with it all done after 40 mins of loud moaning. I did call out the warning we were leaving in 10 mins. That morning she only got cereal and no toast - "sorry luv we don't have time now" (I thought that for one day it wasn't going kill her). It's not been so bad since except when I've worked late and not got myself going and then it's stressy. I keep the same routine at the weekend because I find myself nagging to get all three out the door otherwise....

howtocalmachild Tue 04-Oct-11 11:40:59

p.s I think it has been better because I've handed it over to them.

BabyGiraffes Tue 04-Oct-11 12:15:34

I don't keep calm sad. My older dd has started reception a few weeks ago so we are still new to the school run thing. Keeping an eye on this thread to pick up a few pointers...

Chandon Tue 04-Oct-11 12:22:50

I find I need to give mine (6 and 9) 20 minutes to wake up, 30 minutes for breakfast, 20 minutes to get dressed and do teeth/hair. I also add a 10 minute margin for emergencies, last minute poos, lost shoes etc.

So we get up at 7:00 to leave the house at 8:20.

seems a lot of time, but it's what we need.

LingDiLong Tue 04-Oct-11 12:26:16

I have a 6 and 4 year old too and the 4 year old is sloooow at everything. So basically we time everything around him. We give ourselves a good hour and a half to get ready so that nobody really needs to rush. I use a timer at breakfast and give him a five minute warning, once the bell rings, breakfast is over regardless of how much he has or hasn't eaten. They both know that if they get ready quickly they'll have time to watch a bit of TV before we leave.

lynniep Tue 04-Oct-11 12:36:13

We get up early. but then I have no choice as ds2 gets up no later than 6.30 (although I still feel like I'm chivvying dS1 out the door)
I have all bags packed the night before, DS2s clothes ready and DS1s uniform ready (and whatever I'm wearing ready too!)
All my washing up is done the night before, but if I havent the time, I'll just leave the breakfast stuff soaking. It might be gross but I dont care because I have to get to work on time. I usually end up doing it when I'm feeding them after nursery/school.
I ask DH to iron his shirts the day before, otherwise I have a battle on with DS2 trying to grab the iron and I then have to entertain him for the duration.
At some point when they're eating breakfast, I load the car up with bags, and I get their shoes lined up (and put mine on - I've accidently gone to work in my flip flops before) and coats if necesary.
I dont bother with makeup if I'm short of time - I just do it in the car outside work!
They can watch telly in the morning, but its off no later than 7.30 so theres at least a 20 minute window for breakfast eating.
I ask DH if he can drop DS1 off so I dont have to unstrap then lug the extremely heavy toddler to out of school club ( I have to carry him as he gets distracted by school stuff) then strap him back in, then drive to nursery, unstrap him again, and deliver him safely before heading for work.

I'd like to say the day I dont work is more relaxed - but I have a neighbours son dropped off and its more chaotic with 3 yelling boys to organise!

JaneBennet Tue 04-Oct-11 12:53:24

We have a fairly rigid routine of children up at 6:15am (our alarms go off at 6am so DH can shower first while I have a coffee), then DH sorts out breakfast for everyone before he leaves the house to go to work. Then dressed, hair done for DD, bathroom for teeth/face washing. If they are completely ready, including shoes and there is more than 5 minutes left, they get to watch a bit of TV. We leave at 7:20am with a 10 minute margin of error.

The only thing I do in the morning is shower, get dressed and sort out the lunch boxes. Uniform is laid out the night before (inc underwear), shoes are polished, book/PE bags packed, forms signed. I think having everything ready the night before really helps as there are no last minute worries about finding trainers or ironing a shirt.

Helenagrace Tue 04-Oct-11 13:51:11

Mine are 10 and 5. They have laminated tick charts for morning and evening routines. They complete their charts independently. They get uniform, bags, shoes and hair bobbles ready the night before. We have the 50p tidiest bedroom competition every morning ( I do manage it a bit to ensure they both win sometimes).

Only when they've done their charts and had breakfast do we put the tv on. It's a treat for them and it makes them quicker.

I get up at 6.30. They get up at 6.50. We leave the house for the first school run at 7.45.

Mostly our mornings are calm, although DS was once put in the car in his pyjamas and taken to dd's coach stop. I made him stand briefly at the coach stop in his PJs. It hasn't been repeated!

2BoysTooLoud Tue 04-Oct-11 14:24:16

Oh I am a lazy mum. TV is allowed in morning. Breakfast in front of it. DS [age 6] knows when he has to fit toilet in [newsround] and which program we have to be ready by/ leave after to get to school on time. Seems to work fine for us!

RedHotPokers Tue 04-Oct-11 14:34:19

I'm relatively calm(ish) if I'm not working as I know I can sort out myself and the house when I get home (within reason), but on work days <sigh>.

I get up at 6.15 and get dressed, makeup, hair. DH and I have a quick breakfast in bed. Wake DCs (5yo and 2yo) up and they have warm milk.

DS is super quick to get ready but DD is verrrrryyyy ssssloooooooooooow. 10 minutes faffing on the toilet and washing hands, 10 minutes faffing with toothbrushing, wandering round playing with toys whilst half dressed, insisting she can't find socks/knickers/hairbands, vacantly staring into space when she's meant to be putting shoes/coat on.

We leave the house at about 7.30am. Most mornings I lose it with DD around the shoe-putting-on time, and get wound up by DS on the way to the car (stops to look at every slug, spider, stone, blade of grass). Would love to leave the house once in a while without feeling a) traumatised and b) like I've already done a full day!

I am another one who
i) Gets everything ready the night before (uniform, packed lunches & my clothes)
ii) Gets up before the kids (6.30 for me 7am for them)
iii) Bans TV until they are dressed
iv) Has a leave by time that means we get the early train (there are two backstop trains 9 mins and 12 mins later which will get us there just a bit early and just on time respectively)

DS1 is 8 so usually OK when not daydreaming, DS2 is 4 and responds well to the "I bet you can't finish your breakfast before Mummy finishes [insert random task]" approach.

bellamom Tue 04-Oct-11 17:55:02

we have a rhythm but it is always manic.

no tv or computers on,
DC play/read/do colouring after they wake up around 7.
while i finish off packed lunches and drinks
breakfast by 7.45 (porridge/cereals/eggs/fruits/)
get dressed brush teeth
wild play and craziness until 8.25
then herd everyone to the car which takes forever depending on
- neighbours cat
- how many acorns/petals/xxx are being collected/squirreled away
-last minute poos ;(

screech into school car park at last moment, realising i am still in pjs/forgot to brush hair!!!

Jubato Tue 04-Oct-11 18:07:01

First time reception mum here. Have to say I have huge admiration for mums that are able to fit in reading/homework in the morning. I need to work on my organization and herding skills. grin

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