Stress free mornings. Get out the door on time with kids
Back-to-School Hub,  Parenting & Family

How to Get Out the Door on Time with Kids

School mornings used to give me anxiety.  No matter how early my kids wake up (I’m talking butt crack of dawn early), I was always a big ball of stress when it came time to actually leave the house.  Over time I developed a solid morning routine and I know these awesome tricks will help you get out the door on time with kids and have stress free school mornings!

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Stress free mornings

Do the important stuff first

What’s Important to me may not be important to you.  I needed my kids fed, teeth brushed, and a general resemblance of appropriate clothing on their bodies.  Those are my top priorities.

To accomplish this I had to flip our routine.  Instead of having lazy mornings where the kids got up and played or read, I started doing breakfast immediately after they woke up.  From breakfast, they go right to brushing teeth and getting dressed.  After that they can do WHATEVER THEY WANT until the alarm goes off (more on that later). 

This was genius because they want to play or have a dance party in the morning.  BUT the only way they can do that is by eating, brushing teeth, and getting dressed FIRST.  The longer it takes them to do any of those priority steps, the less time they have to build magnatile towers or play the floor is lava.  They learned quickly.

Prep the night before

This one is obvious but I can’t stress the importance enough.  Build your systems.  Homework and folders should be put away in backpacks, water bottles prepped in the refrigerator, lunch boxes cleaned and ready to be filled. Or pack the whole lunchbox the night before if it works for you. 

The more you can have ready the night before, the less you will be scrambling to find lost gym shoes or unsigned permission slips the moment you have to be out the door.  

P.S. – This is how I keep my house clean with kids!

Stress free mornings with kids

Preview your day with your kids

When I started previewing our days with the kids,  I saw a huge positive change in our transitions.  Transitions are hard.  The easier we can make these, the less meltdowns we have.  How do you make transitions easier? Give your kids the information.  No one likes to be thrown from one thing to the other with no notice. 

Every morning at the breakfast table I say, “Today is Miercoles.  We are going to eat breakfast.  After breakfast, we will brush our teeth and get dressed for school.  After we walk Oliver to school, we’ll come home and drive the girls to preschool.  Miss Ali will pick you up from preschool today. You’ll come home and eat lunch and go for naps – no fighting Miss Ali for naps…” etc. Every. Single. Morning. 

I preview heavily in the mornings and then add in reminders throughout the day. I know it sounds like overkill but it really helps keep them on track. 

Lay out everything they need by the door

We’re in the middle of December right now and you cannot believe the amount of things it takes us to walk to school, fully bundled:  boots, coats, gloves, scarves, hats, and don’t forget the backpack!  Multiply that by 3 kids plus myself…I’m tired just thinking about it.  So to make it just a little easier on everyone, I spend 1 minute laying out all of those things on the floor in little piles. 

They can run down the stairs, find their piles, and get to work bundling.  If it works for your family, have your kids do this themselves the night before as part of your school day prep.  Just be ready to help out if the weather forecast takes an unexpected turn.  Do not skip this step! You need this to get out the door with kids on time and stress free.

If your kids are older, this may sound silly. But it may not. You may have a child that still hasn’t figured out how to dress appropriately for the weather. You may have a child that loses a single glove every morning on your way out of the door. This step helps ensure you have everything you need and it is in plain view, ready to go.

Set an alarm

Last but definitely not least, set an alarm. Or multiple alarms.  When our alarm goes off, the kids have to stop what they’re doing, take their vitamins, and go to the bathroom one more time before getting their coats on.  Again, do this every day.  Once they get used to it you don’t even have to remind them anymore.  They just do it.  And it’s amazing and you feel like you’re magical. 

On rainy or snowy days when you have to get extra bundled, set the alarm 5 minutes earlier than usual.  On snowy days when actual snow suits are necessary? Give yourself an extra 15 minutes to get out the door.  (Trust me on this one).  The extra cushion of time means no meltdowns – from you or the kids – no crazy lady screaming, and no tardiness. 

Get kids out the door on time

Bonus! Click here for how to walk to school in the winter

Get out the door ON TIME!

These 5 simple steps are game changers to anyone’s crazy morning.  Reduce the stress and get out of the door on time with kids every day.  You can do it!  

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Do you have any more tips for getting out the door with kids? Let me know in the comments!


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