By Nicole Yorio, REDBOOK
Mornings are never easy, especially when a new school year begins. Here's how to give kids a morning routine and get them out the door on the right foot.
1. Prepare for re-entry.
Have the kids go to bed and wake up earlier for the two weeks before school starts, says Marcella Moran, an organizing expert in Hartsdale, NY. Get them in the habit of laying out their next-day outfits, and pack their lunches the night before. It's the number-one way to chill out family mornings, according to Moran.
2. Rinse, eat, repeat.
Set a morning schedule for your kids: Hit the bathroom, get dressed, then eat breakfast, suggests Laurie Zelinger, Ph.D., a child psychologist in Cedarhurst, NY: "It gives children a sense of structure and teaches organizational skills."
3. Reserve some Q.T.
"Get up 20 minutes before your kids so you're calm, ready - and showered! - when they wake up," says Ann Pleshette Murphy, author of The 7 Stages of Motherhood. "This builds in time for you to eat breakfast together or blast music while they're getting dressed. The rest of your morning will run smoother and happier."
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.