(Inside: A parenting hack to eliminate the before school chaos.)
The terrible-horrible-very-bad-worst part of our morning is when I announce “Time to go!”
We all simultaneously lose our brain cells.
One kid can’t find his shoe, the other his homework, and the third decides to take a firm stance against why kids have to go to school anyway. Common sense and patience die and I find myself out-of-body looking down on a crazy woman yelling: “Get in the car! Right now!” I hate that the last words my kids hear when I drop them off at school are: “Remember, a bad moment (our morning) is just a bad moment. It doesn’t mean you’re going to have a bad day. Goodbye! Love you!” (Big cheesy smile to make up for all the yelling.)
We’ve tried all the tricks: getting ready the night before, allowing more time in the morning… No dice, for us. I’ve been thinking about why when given a FULL THIRTY MINUTES, we can’t leave without tears. My conclusion is: My kids’ only morning priority is to play. They wake up early to transform Optimus Prime, shoot hoops, or protect our home from our sweet retired neighbors.
So, getting ready is like having a big, fat fly buzzing around their heads. They might start the process but soon their shooing away the thought of fixing their hair and grabbing their lunchboxes to hurry back to play.
So, this year – I knew we needed to get on the same page: Get Ready First. Play Second. But how do we get there?
Enter the heroine of this story: THE LIST
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Of course, a friend gave me this idea. When deep in the I-hate-can-we-play-video-games-whining conversation, she flashed her phone in front of me with a beautiful list that her children must finish before screen time.
Then, angels started singing, the skies parted and streaks of light came down spotlighting THE LIST. (People and their ideas are ah-maze-ing.)
So, I made my own. This checklist is what my kids MUST FINISH BEFORE THEY CAN PLAY.
We’re on week 4 and it’s working beautifully.
But what about you? What is the thing that sends you out-of-body yelling at your kids? Grab your free list here so it can become your heroine too for:
The crazy lady is gone in the morning. (Well, mostly…)
So, I can save my yelling for another time. Like when the basketball slams off the hoop and bounces down our sloped driveway out into the street…
“LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE YOU CHASE THAT BALL!”
That’s a phrase worth screaming.
PS – If you have a moment, check out an article I wrote that’s particularly near and dear to my heart: To the Moms of Babies (Also for moms who miss the baby stage.)
Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.