2015 Youth Achievement Award

Taking the “Mad” out of Morning Madness

Getting up and out in the morning is difficult for many kids, but for those who are easily distracted the challenges are formidable. Smart Kids parents share their tips for starting the day off right:

1. Prepare Ahead

Get organized the night before. Depending on your child’s age, you or she can lay out her clohes, make lunch, gather homework and other papers, and place books, instruments, backpacks, gym clothes, etc. next to the door.

2. Take Care of Business

I devote the first 15 minutes we’re together after school to reviewing all teacher communications, signing permission slips, and filling out forms. It avoids the last minute hassle—or worse, having my child be the one to sit in the library because I didn’t give permission to take health that day.

3. Keep It Simple

The morning routine is always the same. Structure is very important: Get up, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, and out the door.

4. Eat and Run

On really crazy mornings we grab breakfast from the stash of nutrition bars and juice boxes I keep for just those occasions.

5. Don’t Fight It

Instead of rushing to get out, set the alarm 30 minutes earlier.

6. Start with A Snooze

Because our son doesn’t like to jump into action right away, he sets his alarm to allow enough extra time so that he can hit the snooze button twice.

7. Be First

I get up earlier than the kids to have some time for myself because when I’m less stressed I find they are too.

Share your family’s hints, tips, and strategies for stress-free school mornings.

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