10 Tips To Get Your Preschooler Ready For School Every Morning
Think of school day mornings and does a sense of exhaustion overcome you? Do you dread how all your instructions of doing things on time fall on deaf ears leaving you extremely stressed? Do you feel like a full day worth of labor has gone by, by the time you drop your kid to preschool? If your answer to all these questions is a resounding yes, here are 10 tips that you just cannot afford to miss to get your child ready for preschool. With these tips not only will getting your preschooler to school on time becomes easier, but your mornings will also be much more peaceful. So here goes:
1. Follow a bedtime routine
The number one way to get the child to be up on time is of course to get him to sleep on time. It is only when the child is rested that he will wake up fresh rather than cranky. For this, it is important that you stick to a bedtime routine. Make sure the child goes to bed at the same time every night. If you notice that the child has trouble waking in the morning and there are signs of tiredness at bedtime, odds are that the bedtime is too late and that you need to adjust it.
Having a familiar bedtime routine will make sure the child relaxes & winds down & gets ready to sleep. In fact, the pre-bedtime routine for toddlers – changing into night clothes, brushing their teeth, dimming the lights, and storytelling – works well to get the child into sleep mode. Ensure that they are done in the same order every night. Research shows that in addition to improving sleep, bedtime routines teach your child self-care and lay the ground for improving memory and attention.
With a bedtime in place, you can also set a clear wake-up time that gives them enough time to do their morning chores without you having to breathe down instructions every two minutes and adding to the overall stress levels.
2. Make wake-up times pleasant
While a loud alarm may work well for you, it could make the child grumpy. It is best, therefore to have a soothing sound to wake the child up. Also, in the interest of time, it may seem prudent to do away with those morning cuddles, but those few minutes of togetherness can actually work wonders for the child, including putting him in the right mood. The rest of the morning routine will then be a breeze.
Children find transitions hard and mornings are full of transitions. It will help therefore to have some connection time. Besides those precious cuddles, you could also take a few minutes to talk about things that you are grateful for or simply something that you are looking forward to in the day. Small routines like this will go a long way into becoming healthy habits as the child transitions into adulthood.
3. Get everything organized the night before to get your child ready
Planning in advance always works well, more so if there are children involved. You do not want a situation where you are running around looking for the child’s uniform or shoes. It is always a good idea to ensure that everything you need in the morning is at hand. This means keeping the bag ready, planning breakfast ahead, having the uniform & shoes at hand, and a lot more.
4. Ensure there are no distractions
You need to have a rule on screen time in the morning. You sure want to cut down on distractions, besides it is important to remember that exposure to screens in the morning exhausts a child’s attention and leaves him that much less able to absorb information during the day.
If anything, it will help to play good music in the morning to get everyone charged up for the day ahead. The child’s favorite nursery rhyme or a calming, soulful bhajan or hymn can help with a routine for life.
5. Keep breakfast simple
Much as you may want to be a super parent and prepare a large breakfast spread, it will help to keep things realistic. While that does not mean feeding the child junk food, you could definitely keep the menu healthy but simple. A bowl of cereal, fruits, eggs, and toast are all workable options that are healthy and not too time-consuming.
6. Offer choices
While in the interest of time it may seem like giving instructions or better still doing most of the work yourself is the only way forward, in the long run, it isn’t the best option. Instead offer the child workable, age-appropriate choices. That way the child feels in command & you need to face fewer power struggles.
When you do need to give instructions, ensure that they are clear. In fact, with preschoolers, you will need to offer reminders on what they need to do & how. Patience is the key. Remind yourself that yelling will only backfire. What we are also teaching the child is that yelling is acceptable in times of frustration. In fact the calmer you are, the better the child is likely to respond. That is what you want right, especially when the school bus is a stone’s throw away.
7. Offer the child positive attention
Giving your child positive attention and praising good behavior can do wonders. Often times though we give attention on negative aspects and this way perpetuates negative behavior. If we were to take time to say how well the child is eating breakfast, odds are that we won’t have to deal with a child who is playing around with the fruit on his plate in a bid to get your attention.
8. Try to make your own routine efficient to get your child ready
Whether or not we like to admit it, sometimes inefficiencies in our own routine can cause morning delays. Look for these little annoyances that not only waste time but also put everyone in a bad mood. The scene of misplaced keys might repeat itself very often, in which case you need to ensure that there is a designated place to keep the keys. Similarly, if you have to drop the child to the playschool, do ensure there is enough fuel in the car, the evening before.
9. Add some fun
Adding a little fun to the mix can never do any harm. Playing games at the bus stop, for example, will give the child enough motivation to make it to the stop before the bus arrives. Similarly, thinking of other creative games such as beating the buzzer for morning tasks can also be useful.
10. Choose the right preschool
Take time to make the right choice of preschool. Odds are that if the child enjoys activities at school, he or she wouldn’t want to miss school and will make the association between doing things on time & getting to school. At Footprints Childcare our US-based Highscope curriculum is scientifically developed to ensure the child’s holistic development. With active participatory learning which takes into account the child’s choices, learning does not seem like a chore!
To Sum Up
While getting your child ready for preschool & daycare can sound like a chaotic task, it needn’t be so. Remember to tackle the morning with positivity. Your infectious attitude will rub off on the child. On the other hand, if you are stressed out, agitated & grumpy, odds are that these feelings will only multiply when the clock shows that you are running out of time.
Here is to making school mornings fun! P.S.- Do not forget to pat yourself on the back each morning for a job well done!