As a single mom your child’s morning routine for school is important. As a single mom I have to get ready, get dressed, get out the door, get to work on time, AND so does my child. There is no extra set of hands that is going to come from the sky and help with my child’s morning routine for school.
If you are frustrated with your children in the morning, as we all sometimes are, amplified by the fact that you are single mother; I have some tips for you that will make you less stressed out and your child’s morning routine for school less chaotic.
Morning routine for school ~ Tip #1 It Starts The Night Before
I am not a morning person and therefore I do not like doing a whole bunch of things in the morning. Keeping too many task for the morning will make me run late. So preparing for your morning the night before can be essential to your routine. Some of the key areas you want to focus on are:
Making sure they have a set bedtime.
That means if your child’s bed time is at 9pm they should be in the bed by 9pm. Not taking a bath, not getting ready to climb into the bed, and not brushing their teeth but they should be in the actual bed.
The morning routine for school can be disrupted if your child is fighting you in the morning to wake up. Make sure they get at least 8 hours and if they are still drowsy in the morning then put them to bed earlier. Making sure to take away and electronic devices and/or toys that may be keeping them up in the night.
Get Their Clothes Ready
Depending on the age on the child you may have to get their clothes ready or they may get their own clothes ready. Either way it does not matter. When they wake up, spending less time picking out and ironing their clothes is important to a good morning routine for school. If their clothes are set out and prepped already then all they should have to do is put them on.
Take a Bath at Night
My son does not need to take a bath at night and in the morning. He is not getting that dirty while he is sleeping. Having them take a bath at night means that they are not taking one in the morning. Which means that are wasting less time in the morning which will increase your likelihood being on time.
Morning routine for school ~ Tip #2 Keep It Simple
I am the master of keeping things simple. I do not want to stress out in the morning or run around like a chicken with my head cut off. Therefore simplicity and efficiency is key.
Keep the Hygiene Routine Simple
At this point your kids should be bathed, well rested, and their clothes should be out. So as far as getting ready all that needs to be done is them putting on their already picked out clothes, washing their face, and brushing their teeth. And you need to limit this all to 10 -15 minutes. The only exceptions to this is the single mothers if little girls or teenage girls. I have a boy so it takes like less than a minute to brush his hair. But for girls, who knows how long their hair can take. So come up with a reasonable time frame for them to do their hair and make them stick to it.
Remember this is a morning routine not a run wild and take forever to get ready routine. In the beginning they may need some extra help. As in tell them to get up and tell them they have 10 -15 minutes to get ready. Have a check list of things they need to do in the morning if they cannot remember and perhaps even a timer so that they can be reminded of the time. If your kids are unable to adhere to the schedule that you have provided them with them I will talk about repercussions later.
Some of you may be saying 10-15 minutes is not long enough. It is! I am a grown woman who puts on a full face of make up every day and I can get ready in 15 minutes. So can your child.
I am not the type of mother that is going to make my child a full course meal every day for breakfast and I learned that is okay (click to read my blog on its okay not to be the perfect mom). As long as your children are not going to school hungry you will receive no judgment from me.
That is why you need to make breakfast as easy as possible and depending on their age this can be something they can do on their own. Such examples include popping waffles into the toaster (my son is 9 and he can do this) and/or pouring some cereal.
You want to make sure they eat, but you also want to make sure that this process does not take hours and hours on end making you late to get out of the door. Once again you want to set a time frame on this. Not to be a drill instructor but your child may play around and take all day to complete this task if you let them. Defeating the purpose of a morning routine. So don’t let them.
Final Check List
The last thing that you want is to be screaming at your kids in the morning to make sure that they remember everything. Because it is possible that you may not remember everything. So have a check list that either you or your children can attend to, to ensure that they have everything. Such as their book bags, folders, lunch, and any special projects.
Morning routine for school ~ Tip #1 Get them To Do It Their Selves
As a single mom I am normally getting ready the same time my child is. So the more they can do on their own the better. If they are upper school age they should be able to put their clothes that are set out on their own, wash their face on their own, brush their teeth on their own, get their breakfast on their own, and go through their check list on their own.
Once they settle into a routine, this should not take you standing over them telling them their every move. That defeats the purpose of an efficient routine if you are stressing yourself to do it. Once all is said and done you can check behind them and even check their tooth brush for being wet to make sure they brushed their teeth. But the goal for them is for your children to be more independent in their routine especially as they get older.
For all those women screaming child abuse or uninvolved parent, you need to teach your child how to be resilient and how to start being independent. You are not going to be there forever hovering over them so the more they learn how to do on their own the better. Also check out my blog on I am raising my son to be the type of man I want to marry.
Morning routine for school ~ Tip #4 It is a routine
Remember it is a routine and so routines take practice. Do not try to implement this and within one day thinking that your child is going to follow all of this on their own. They probably won’t. But if you stick to and implement the routine then they will.
This means being consistent on your part. This means holding them accountable to following the routine. This includes setting the times in which they need to have everything finished and in the beginning you may have to remind them how much longer they have but do not give them longer. Such as telling them they have 5 minutes to finish getting ready not giving them an additional 5 minutes.
Not following the routine consequence
If after everything your child is still not able to following the routine, having trouble maintaining the time you a lot them, or still forgetting stuff that you know is on their checklist this is when you implement the consequence. (Also see my blog hear on being a stern parent). The consequence can be whatever you want but I am going to give you some ideas:
Going to Bed Earlier or getting up earlier.
What you say: “(enter your child’s name here) Since you cannot manage to follow your routine and are still late running getting out of the door, then either you must not be well rested and don’t have enough energy OR you need to get up earlier to have more time to get ready.”
Honestly they probably do have enough energy and may not need to really go to bed earlier but that is the consequences of not adhering to the time line. And what you are telling them that getting up earlier will give you more time to get yourself ready in the morning or going to bed earlier will allow you to feel well rested. You can allow them to pick between the two. And once the consequences is implemented then you must adhere to it. Not exceptions. Only let up once your child is doing better with their routine.
Taking something away:
What you say: “ (enter your child’s name here) Since you cannot manage to follow your routine in the morning and are still having problems, when you get home you will not be able to get on the computer or play on your tablet. This will continue every day you are able to stick to your routine.”
Make them do more preparation
What you say: “(enter your child’s name here). Since you cannot manage to remember all of your things in the morning then I think you need to prepare more at night. Before you go to bed I want you to go through your book bag make sure you have all your stuff and set it all of your stuff by the door.”
It could be that your child has too much to do in the morning that they cannot keep up. Or it could that they are forgetful and not paying attention. So make them do stuff the night before and set all of their stuff by the door the night before as well. Which will decrease the likelihood of them forgetting something.
Remember that practice makes perfect and the key to a good morning routine as a single mother is being firm, fair, and consistent. Firm meaning that you have to stick the routine as well and hold them accounting. Fair meaning that you cannot give them 5 minutes to get ready or be a drill instructor that may be impossible. Consistent meaning that you cannot expect them to follow the routine one day and the next day you just allow them to run about doing whatever they want, and have an inconsistent expectations of them. They will never catch on that way.