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Have your kids started school yet? At our house, we are just getting back into the routine of the school year. That means preparing for the next day, going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. It means doing laundry and grocery shopping on a more regular basis. It means potential craziness and chaos in the morning. But, I’ve found a few ways this year to make our school-day mornings less hectic. Want to hear?
There’s been a lot of discussion on my Facebook feed about “helicopter parents”. In the book, “Parenting with Love and Logic”, the authors define helicopter parents as those who “hover over and then rescue their children whenever trouble arises. They’re forever running lunches, permission slips, band instruments, and homework assignments to school.” But these parents, the authors argue, are not helping their children in the long run because, “the real world does not run on the bail-out principle.” Have you seen this on Facebook? What do you think?
I’m torn. I have to admit that I don’t want my daughter to have to suffer at school if she forgets her glasses or the right shoes for PE. What I do want is to teach her to be organized enough to remember (90% of the time, anyway) necessary items. Yes, she can problem-solve if she does forget something, but the goal is to not forget in the first place, right? It’s a win-win. She’ll have what she needs and I won’t be making that drive to school or worrying. The first simple way to take some of the chaos out of school day mornings at our house is my “Must-Haves” list. The ten minutes or so before heading out the door can be crazy with everyone running around looking for things and inevitably something important would get left behind.
Here’s how to create your own “Must-Haves” list. Sit down as a family and list all the things that need to be ready on a school morning. Not the minutia, but the things that would result in a drive to the school or a failing grade. For example, my daughter’s school has given all the kids a planner, where they write their homework assignments down and then check them off the night before, but in the past, we’ve left the whole folder at home! It’s important that you make this list with your child. Don’t take the responsibility on yourself, it is ultimately their responsibility, but guide them in ways to make it easier on everyone.
We use a dry erase board and marker for our list. It’s helpful if it’s something easily erased and modified. So, if my daughter comes home and says she needs to turn in a permission slip tomorrow, I can say, “write in on the must-have list, so we won’t forget”! With a dry erase board she can easily write temporary items and erase them the next day. Kept on the back of the door, she checks it every day before she leaves the house. And don’t forget, “Hug and Kiss” should be on every kid’s list!
If you have more than one child, I have two words for you. Color code! Color coding makes it quick and easy to spot and identify the responsible party and ownership. Make your lists in different colors. Use different color name labels. I even saw a fun tip the other day to color code notebooks so you can tell whose is whose, when the notebooks are in a stack. Just color the top of the notebook on the pages with a 1-inch mark. You won’t see it on individual papers, but when you look at the book as a whole, it will show up.
Another thing we have started doing when any of us needs a packed lunch or snack is including a Ritz, Teddy Grahams or Nabisco snack bag. I keep a basket of Ritz, Teddy Grahams and Nabisco snack bags in the pantry and whoever is making lunches can grab their favorite. My daughter has a snack time at school and these are perfect. Ritz, Teddy Grahams and Nabisco snack bags are my back-to-school solution. She can grab one from the pantry and throw it in her pack back – ready to go.
I found a great deal on Ritz, Teddy Grahams and Nabisco Multipacks at my Kroger store. Kroger had them all together in one place to make it easy for me to find the perfect solution for our back-to-school needs. I picked up the Multi-packs that work so well for school snacks, the Ritz Crackers Fresh Stacks for lunches, and the snack cups that fit perfectly in our minivan cupholders for after school snacking.
With the great prices, I stocked up and we will be ready for anything! The bags you find in Ritz, Teddy Grahams and Nabisco Multipacks at your Kroger store have snacks that are bite-sized (cute little cookies and crackers!) and kid-friendly. They won’t be coming back in lunch boxes at the end of the day!
Head to your nearest Kroger store for snacks your kids will love.
Do you have any tips to reduce morning chaos that have worked at your house?