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Make school day mornings easier

9/2/2015, 7 a.m.
School day mornings can be hectic, as getting kids ready for school and out the door on time is not ...
Parents can take several steps to make sure school day mornings go more smoothly. (Photo: Metro Creative Graphics)

— School day mornings can be hectic, as getting kids ready for school and out the door on time is not always easy. Working parents may find school day mornings especially difficult, as their own work schedules can make mornings feel even more rushed. Fortunately, parents can employ several strategies to free up time in the morning so everyone starts their days off in a more relaxing atmosphere.

· Wake up earlier. Sleep might seem like a precious commodity, but waking up just 10 to 15 minutes earlier can remove some of the stress from weekday mornings without costing you a lot of sack time. Let kids sleep in until their normal wakeup time, using your extra 10 or 15 minutes to shower or enjoy your morning cup of coffee before the house is abuzz with activity.

· Tackle certain chores the night before. Delaying certain chores until you wake up makes for a hectic morning, so tackle as many morning chores as possible before you go to bed for the night. Prepare school lunches, lay clothes out for yourself and your children, and make sure kids have their backpacks packed and ready to go before they go to bed. Each of these things may only take a few minutes, but when left for the morning, they can add up to a substantial amount of time.

· Encourage youngsters to pick up the pace. Some people are morning people, while others dread setting their alarms for early morning hours. Kids who fall into the latter group may drag their feet in the morning, but parents should offer encouragement when kids are moving slowly in the morning. Allowing your frustration to show may only make kids less fond of mornings, so remind them as nicely as possible that everyone has a schedule to stick to if they seem to be dragging their feet.

· Keep the television off. If watching the television is ingrained in your morning routine, try going a few days without it to see if this makes it easier to get out the door on time. Kids might grow distracted by morning cartoons, and even adults may get caught up in morning news shows or other forecasts. Eliminating television from your morning routine can save time and also may help your family grow closer, as you will have more distraction-free time to speak to one another. In addition to turning off the television, resist the urge to turn on your devices or scan work emails when getting ready in the morning.

Parents know that school day mornings can be hectic. But there are several ways to make such mornings go more smoothly so everyone gets where they need to be on time.