Thursday, September 6, 2012

Morning and evening routines for the kids

We have always had a bit of a struggle at our house getting out the door in the morning.  For the last year or so, I have gone to the gym around 6 A.M. and returned home around 7:20.  The first bell at the kids' school rings at 8:35.  You would think an hour would be plenty of time for my two to get ready to go.  On the contrary...

Most days I would get home and find them both still in their pajamas, playing games on the computer, and having not eaten breakfast yet while my dear husband was in the shower.  I then struggled to tear them away from whatever important task they were doing on and nudged them downstairs to the breakfast table.  I made them breakfast and proceeded to make lunches while they ate as slowly as humanly possible.  Red has always been fairly independent about getting dressed.  Tom Thumb is not.  A 20 minute ordeal would then ensue with him insisting that I take off his clothes and dress him with me pleading with him to take off his pajamas.  Tom Thumb and socks have always been the bane of my existence.  The kid just hates socks.  After finally shoving him into his clothes, we would rush out the door and just barely make it to school on time.

The evenings weren't much better.  I always would start at 7 P.M. (well, most days) to get them ready for an 8 P.M. bedtime, but something always seemed to go wrong.  A half a bottle of shower gel would get dumped into the bath tub.  A child couldn't find a pair of clean underwear.  Tom Thumb would demand that I not wash him and then scream when I did.  Red would decide that 7:59 was the perfect time to dump every toy she owned on to the floor.

Flash forward to this week.  I decided that we had to do something different.  HAD TO.  I just couldn't take what was happening one more second.  So with the kids' help, I typed up their morning and evening routines.  The result--- a complete turn around in terms of how things are going.  The Cobbler and I agreed that there would be no TV or computer time until every task was completed on the list in the morning and it has worked so far.  Tom Thumb has required some extra reminders and assistance (those darn socks are still getting me), but Red has been going it on her own.  The evening routine is going even better!  After dinner last night, I said, "Okay guys, go do your lists" and they both ran off to get them done.  I couldn't believe it!  Will it still be happening like this in a few days?  I don't know.  Geez I hope so, but for now I will take my sanity any way I can get it.  

In case you can't read the routines in the photo above, here's a list of what the kids and I came up with:

Morning Routine
Put on your clothes.
Eat your breakfast and vitamin.
Brush your teeth.
Brush your hair.
Make your bed.
Pack your backpack.

Evening Routine
Finish your homework.
Tidy up your room.
Take a bath.
Put on your pajamas.
Brush and floss your teeth.
Pick out tomorrow’s outfit.
Go to sleep.

I also started packing their lunches and snacks for the next day the night before.  Just that makes my morning so much easier!

What do you do in your house for routines?  Do you have any tips that streamline your day?


Michelle Martin said...

You ROCK! :)

Jenny said...

GREAT idea!

Carri said...

We have something almost identical to that! With a physical list everyone (adults included) knows what is expected of them so there are no arguments. I have even taken to making daily lists for the school work they can do independently.