By KATHY SMITH
Does the morning bring chaos to your household? With school beginning for many families in the next couple of weeks, a family routine is essential if you want to avoid hectic mornings and evenings.
With good planning and rules in place you can teach your children responsibility and you can be a more effective parent. Here are some tips for some household order:
• Each child should have an alarm and know how to use it.
• If you must, check to make sure your children are up.
• No TV, computers or video games until they are dressed and ready to leave.
• If you have children that piddle, don’t try to hurry them, just get them up earlier.
• Know your child’s wake up style. Some wake up easily, some need a few minutes to become awake. Sometimes children respond by having their back rubbed while you talk to them in a calm soothing voice. Be in tune to your kids’ wake-up styles and you will benefit.
• Set your children’s clocks five or 10 minutes ahead. Even your teenagers might not notice and it gives you a little breathing space.
• Have kids lay out their clothes for the next day. You can do it yourself for the younger ones, or help them to do it.
• Lay out dishes and any non-refrigerated foods for breakfast.
• Pack lunches for the next day, or get lunch money ready.
• Sign any permission slips, report cards, forms, etc.
• Check homework and assignments.
• Have a basket, notebook, box or drawer for each child’s school papers.
• Keep a family calendar posted to post appointments and events such as dentists, haircuts, sports, practices, and other meetings.
• Make sure your children know that they are responsible for giving you papers to be signed. Young children will need to be reminded. It is a good idea to go through backpacks to check for papers and items they may not have given you.
• Have a specific place for each child to keep backpacks and other items for school.
Rotate family responsibilities such as cooking breakfast or dinner, doing dishes, setting the table, etc. Make sure each family member has a job. Chores and responsibilities for everyone can help children learn and help them to feel better about themselves.