Ending the Morning Madness
It is not an unusual scenario to see school-age children having a difficult time getting up in the morning, dressing up for school and having breakfast in time for the school bus – without some kind of madness! There is screaming, struggling and the more we push for our child to move, the more there is resistance.
The first words of the day sets the tone. A smile, a soft touch, singing a favorite tune can go a long way to making a hectic morning go much smoother. I vividly remember how one of my daughters would sing a song (which she and my granddaughter would often sing ) to start the day bright and happy for her daughter. It would somehow spark a beautiful smile and somehow the struggles are not as challenging….
As parents, we can save time and anxiety by: 1. Preparing the night before 2. By actively involving our child to participate in the responsibilities which are cognitive to her age and emotional ability. 3. By allowing extra time for sleeping earlier, so waking up time can be a bit earlier too, in order to allow time for the child to take her/his pace in the mornings.
We can involve our child in the preparation of her/his clothes the night before. She/ he can also be involved in deciding what she/he will be bringing to school for her/his snacks.
Some parents make a picture calendar of activities for her/his child for certain times of the day.
Sometimes, as parents, our impatience leads to conflict that thwarts our child’s independence. ‘Quick’ is a word that’s hard for our child when she/he wants to do things by herself/himself. When you take out from your child whatever it is that she/he is trying to accomplish, you are sending the message ‘ I might as well not do it coz mommy does it faster.’ Bye-bye independence. In the book ‘You’re Not the Boss of Me’ by Betsy Brown Braun, she recommends: when you are really in a hurry and are not just being impatient, you can say, ” You are working so hard on that zipper. Next time you can show me how you can do it all by yourself. Today is not a day when I have time to wait for you. I’m going to help you finish. I love that you are learning to zip .”
In my next post- How does our adult standard for perfection conflict with our child’s execution of her/his task?