For many of us, it was hard to get out of the house on time even before we had a child. Losing keys, trying to find the perfect outfit, and getting all of your stuff in order can be difficult. Add a preschooler into the mix and the process is exponentially more difficult. Is it even possible to get out of the house in a timely manner with young children? The answer, fortunately, is yes, if you establish some time-saving routines.
Mornings are the most difficult times for most families with young children. To help mornings be less crazy, you should actually start changing parts of your bedtime routine. Make sure that each of your children has all of his or her clothing laid out so that you don’t have to argue with them or try to find what they need while you are in a rush. If they are going somewhere where they will need toys, snacks, a change of clothing, or anything else, make sure these are packed up in a backpack or a bag before you go to sleep. Giving your child choices and allowing them to have control over their routine as much as possible will help alleviate challenges in the morning. Wearing pants isn’t a choice, but which pants your child wears can be a choice for her, and this will help her be excited to get ready for school.
If you need to pack a lunch for yourself or your children, do that the night before also. Trying to put together a healthy lunch when you’re in a hurry is something that is not ideal for anyone. When you’re in a hurry, it’s virtually impossible to make good decisions about nutrition for yourself or your children, let alone to put all the parts of a good lunch together. Since a nutritious lunch is so important for your children, it’s best to get it done early when you do not have to try to get out the door.
An established routine can help young children learn what needs to be done each morning. Keeping the tasks the same as much as possible can streamline what needs to be done and help you to get out of the house on time with a preschooler. Kids learn what is expected of them and do better when there aren’t any surprises in their routine. While you can’t totally avoid any unexpected happenings, reducing them makes things easier on everybody.
As the parent, waking up just a few minutes earlier can help give you a head start on the day. While it is tempting to sleep until the last possible minute, getting up just a few minutes early to prepare can make everything a little more relaxed and help you in getting out of the house on time with a preschooler.
Getting rid of distractions can also help make things go faster. If you don’t let your children use iPads or computers, or watch TV in the morning, or any time before you are trying to get out the door, it keeps their attention and speeds up the process of getting ready. Ditch the TV as babysitter idea in exchange for a speedier routine with your children.