Practical Advice for Getting Your Child up and Out

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Getting dressed is tough in the morning!

There is nothing more frustrating than trying to get your child out the door in the morning. Whether you have to get to work or you have to get them to school, those early morning meltdowns can wreak havoc on your day.

Lay out the Clothes the Night Before

If your child is feeling like they don’t have enough time to get dressed, or they feel rushed, or if they feel that they don’t have control over what they are wearing – give the control back to them. Go through their closet the night before, you can even make a game of it if you want, and let them decide what they are going to greet the world in. This gives them back control and saves time in the morning.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

Part of the reason most children don’t move fast in the morning is because they are tired. A good night’s sleep will make mornings easier to navigate. According to the Women’s and Children’s Health Network, “children usually wake when they have had enough sleep”, so if you have to wake them they are probably not getting enough rest.

Get up Earlier

This sounds almost counterproductive when dealing with a tired child, but if they have gotten to bed at a decent hour the night before, getting up earlier will be easier. It will put less stress on both of you, which is always a good thing, and will give you plenty of time to handle any last minute wardrobe changes that might happen.

Set up Your Mornings the Night Before

In addition to choosing what clothes you lay out the night before, you should organize your entire morning the same way. If lunches can be made the night before, do so. Shoes, backpacks, coats, etc. should all be in one area so that they can quickly and easily be accessed. By having everything in one place, the time spent on simply getting breakfast and dressed is infinitely less stressful.  Put out pans, utensils, etc. – whatever you need for breakfast – the night before. This way breakfast can be made and easily put out on plates.

Relax

Feeling stressed while dealing with your children is a surefire way to get them stressed as well. Tantrums, meltdowns, these are indicative of a child feeling overwhelmed by whatever task is laid out in front of them.  According to Eileen Kennedy-Moore, Ph.D., making getting dressed fun can relieve some of the pressure of getting the clothes on. “Make up a ‘getting dressed song’ with a silly action after each piece of clothing.” By making it a game, it becomes a more enjoyable experience.

Above all, remember that if your child is not wearing the proper outfit, or the wrong shoes, or their hair is not perfect – it doesn’t matter. Most of their classmates won’t notice either. Take the time with them in the morning and enjoy them, for they will be dressing themselves before you know it.

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