Sunday March 2 2014

Tune your child to the morning routine



Are your mornings rushed, chaotic and disorganised? Then it is time to get control and make the mornings a good start to a wonderful day. When your morning activities run smoothly, and you are out of the door on time, it can make your whole day feel better. To create a peaceful morning routine, follow these tips.

Start your morning - at night
This is a key to smoothing out your morning to prepare as much as you can the night before.
Gaudy Kaine, a mother of two, believes that in the night, you choose the day’s clothing, ensure the food containers are clean or if your child has to pack some food, do it then so that morning is for warming it unless otherwise. “On my schedule, I gather homework, sign the notebooks they have to check after school, and set the table for breakfast. Otherwise, it is too much work to carry out in the morning,” she says.

Post a calendar
Buy the biggest wall calendar you can find and hang it in a central location. Patrick Kajjoba, a single parent, believes in writing down events and appointments for everyone in the family. “I use different highlighters to code items for easy reading on our calendar which is in the dining room.

For instance, the three children have different activities and I too have related appointments to do with them. For example, Melissa, my five-year-old has choir practice every Tuesday and Friday at church; I mark it in red. Marvin, has football games with school friends every first and last Wednesday of the month, I put green and Milly’s dance classes every Monday are in Blue while doctors’ appointments are in purple,” he explains. Keeping the calendar up-to-date keeps one more organised.

Use a morning list
Sit down and analyse a typical morning. Make a list of everything that needs to be done. Create a poster-sized list of the standard morning activities. This may seem hectic but it saves a lot of time.

Jane Nyachwo, 42, lives with her 10- year-old nephew. She shares: “If you have a child who gets easily distracted and ignores the morning chart – do not give up. I made a small mini-size chart, laminated it, put it on a chain and let Martin wear it as his “morning necklace!” “My part is to make a few gentle reminders, “How are you doing on your chart this morning?” He tells her what he has done or not.

Recently he told her he was getting tired of being asked. He promised to work harder and do away with it soon.

Create a drop box
Have a labelled box for each family member by the door. Use this to store shoes, socks, and anything else that goes out of the door with you in the morning. Plastic tubs make great drop boxes. Or you could opt to use the laundry basket just so they keep organised.

Fix problems with a family meeting
If problems persist, take the time to sit down with your children and talk about it. Let everyone have a turn talking, and then work to arrive at solutions that will benefit everyone.

Praise successes
Remember, your words of praise will encourage your children to continue to meet their goals. Positive energy is a must in any family, for everything to be done in time.