How can I get my kids out the door on time?

It’s back to school season and we all know what that means – it’s time for the “Mad Rush to the Bus!” So how do we help get everybody out of the door on time (and still liking each other)? Basically, with some clever parent secrets, a little dash of routine, and a healthy dose of calm. Here are some tips on how to pull it all together:

  1. No TV on school mornings. It can be impossible to perfectly include a television show from beginning to end within the morning routine. There’s just too much to get done, and if it doesn’t start exactly when it needs to, a show can run long and everyone is late. TV also has a nasty habit of turning happy, well rested kids into uncooperative, immovable objects!
  2. Set an Alarm. There are lots of kid friendly alarm clocks out there. Let kids choose one, set it themselves and teach them how to turn them off each morning. An ounce of independence can go a long way.
  3. Decide the night before. We love the idea of letting children choose clothes and dress themselves – it’s fabulous for building independence and boosting confidence and self-esteem. So YES, let them makes those choices, but do it the night before. Have a place where clothes are set out, or a fun little basket or bin to place them in, and make it part of the bedtime wind-down routine, rather than becoming an invitation for conflict in the morning.
  4. Get it together. And speaking of bins and baskets, have a central place where each child’s school items belong. Whether it’s a cubby, a hook, or a basket/bin, place anything and everything that needs to go to school in one place. As lunches get made, they get added. Permission slips? Homework? Added. When it comes time to leave, they can simply grab-it-and-go. And when everyone comes home from school, guess where they can toss their gear? Yep. Right back in the back-to-school bin.
  5. Establish good sleeping habits. A well-rested child is much more agreeable come morning (and more successful at school too!) If your child doesn’t seem refreshed, happy and motivated in the morning, more sleep could help. Try to inch bedtime up slightly for a few nights in order to claim some precious extra minutes of sleep. Ten to 15 minutes more might just be the key to a happier morning.
  6. Excuses, excuses. Don’t provide your child with inappropriate excuses for not going to school. Remember, their school habits are the beginnings of adult habits like work-ethic and self-motivation. If we are healthy, we are going to school. Be sure that nighttime activities like extra curricular commitments, TV, or homework are completed well before bedtime and don’t interfere with your efforts to wake-up each day rested and ready to go.
  7. Listen. If your child is completely healthy, and rested but doesn’t seem to want to go to school. Find out why. Talk to teachers as necessary to determine what other factors could be causing your child to feel this way. Screaming and yelling to get a child out the door in the morning whom we think is simply dragging his or her feet, won’t do much good if the real issue is something deeper like school anxiety, fear of a test or event at school, bullying – or something completely different we didn’t even think of!
  8. Do what I do. Lead by example and be sure you are taking your own advice. Your energy and mood in the morning is contagious. Be well rested yourself. Choose your clothes the evening before and be sure you are allowing yourself ample time to get ready and be available for assistance, questions and the occasional snags (epic fails) during the morning routine. 


7 Ways to Incorporate More Unstructured Play Into Your Child’s Schedule

We’ll be posting ideas for unstructured play on the Parent Resources Facebook Page every week for the rest of the month! Don’t miss out! Like our page now:  The following tips are excepted from an article by Avril Swan, MD and expanded by Parent Resources.Children today have more opportunities than ever for all sorts of wonderful… more»

What Makes You Smile About Being A Parent? July Smile Button

We always talk about things or people “pushing our buttons.” Well here’s a button we could all use–a smile button! So, what makes you smile about being a parent?Here’s my smile button for July:I love watching kids be kids and remembering my own childhood. The Story: I still vividly remember playing with my friend Maria under the expansive branches… more»

What makes you smile about being a parent? May Smile Button

We always talk about things or people “pushing our buttons.” Well here’s a button we could all use–a smile button! So, what makes you smile about being a parent?Here’s my smile button for May:Ever since I became a parent myself, I love realizing and discovering the parenting genius that my own parents possessed. The Story: When my… more»

Making Parenting More Fun – Success Stories!

Check out these moms who are putting the fun, the joy (and the downright silly!) back into their parenting! Once Upon a Time: A mom who “lives in her car” loves to start an outrageous silly story with three to five sentences, about their dog, Lily…”Guess what!? Today I saw Lily riding her motorcycle wearing… more»

Just Say Yes! How to Say Yes To Your Kids More

Kids hear, “no,” in one form or another quite a bit while growing up. That’s just the reality of us parents setting healthy boundaries and helping to keep them safe. So how about some things your kids will really love you saying YES! to for a change? Here are a few things kids love to… more»

Be More Mindful, and Discover More Parenting Fun!

So you want to introduce more fun in your family? The fun is there waiting to be had, all you have to is reach out and grab it! As parents, we have to be mindful of claiming our family fun time. The more aware we are of all the different opportunities for fun, the more… more»

Plastic Easter Egg Ideas for Post-Holiday Fun!

If you celebrated Easter this past weekend, chances are the Easter Egg hunts are over, most of the eggs are now emptied of their treats and sweets, and the only thing left to do is pack away the eggs and baskets away for next year–but wait–not so fast! Extend the holiday fun in your household… more»

Creative (Non-Food) Ideas for Filling Easter Eggs

Are you looking for some fun ideas for Easter Baskets this year? There’s always coins, stickers, and of course candy! But here are a few clever ideas for something a little different. The Easter Bunny is getting creative this year!25 Fun Things to Fill Your Easter EggsBouncy ballsArmy menBraceletsBalloonsA seriously silly pair of socks!Magnet letters that spell… more»

75 TV-Free Ideas for Kids!

We’ve been talking about TV-Free time this month. I don’t know many parents who would disagree with the general idea that less TV and more interaction time is great, but especially if you are actively trying to reduce a TV habit with your kids, it can be hard to think of awesome alternative activities to draw their… more»