Less Stressful Mornings
“Let’s go! Let’s go! We are running late! I don’t know where your shoes are… probably where ever you left them. You can’t leave the house with your hair looking like that. Let’s go! I’m walking out the door…. Let’s Go!”
If your mornings sound something like this, you are not alone. Difficult mornings can make parents short tempered, frustrated, and resentful. Every other article is going to tell you to get your kids to bed early, which is obvious, and if we stopped there we wouldn’t be doing you any favors. The following tips will help you figure out what to do (and not to do) to make your mornings less stressful.
If you are an Alternative Teaching client, remember what you have learned and that your behaviorist is able to help before, during, and after these moments. Stay rational; it is contagious. If you catch yourself raising your voice, it is very possible that you will unintentionally escalate an already anxiety producing event for your child. If you find yourself starting to yell, take a few minutes to give yourself a break and stay rational.
If you can manage it, showers and baths should be taken at night along with anything else that can reasonably be done ahead of time like picking out clothes, packing the backpack, and packing lunches.
Depending on age and situation, look over all homework for completeness before bed.
Remind yourself that while you don’t get to control their behavior, thanks to Alternative Teaching, you now have the tools to give effective consequences if their behavior bothers you. Make sure you issue those consequences when they are calm.
Those are the things you should do…now we are going to give you permission to not do things:
Don’t worry if they showered (unless you are dealing with bed-wetting). We shower for social reasons and not hygiene reasons. They are not less hygienic if they don’t shower…they will just stink. Remember: kids don’t typically develop an odor until they are older but each child is different. Some kids never stink and some you can’t scrape the stink off of them.
Don’t sweat over homework. Nobody gets rejected from Harvard because they missed one day of homework. Issue consequences later or let the school handle it. Remember…you already finished school so don’t take it so personally.
Stay focused on getting the kids to school. Wrinkled clothes, messy hair, mix matched socks or handing them breakfast bars on the way out the door are all fine. Just get them into school for your sake and theirs.
Don’t have their room clean or chore done in the morning? They didn’t put away their breakfast dishes? Who cares? Unless you are selling your house and having buyers come that morning…it really isn’t that important.
Now here’s the catch. If you find that their hair’s messy, they stink, haven’t completed their homework, left a mess in the kitchen and they are dressed like they are going to school on “opposite day” everyday…then you may have a problem. If we are working with you…I promise we will get to these issues sooner than you think. If you are not a client, give us a call. We can help you resolve these types of problems quickly. School should be a happy place, but for some students it is an institution of anxiety, stress, and panic. If you are having morning problems everyday then this is more than someone that is just disorganized and not a “morning person”. We can teach you how to resolve these issues and a whole lot more.