You guys? When it comes to getting my kids out the door in the mornings, I’ve been doing it all wrong for years. All wrong. FOR YEARS.
I would chase my child around nagging, cajoling, threatening, and yes, even yelling *gasp* . When it came to going to school, my kid was very VERY unmotivated. Why in the world would be WANT to hurry up and get to school? Every school morning felt like herding cats through Jell-o. And the cats were drunk. And hostile.
After just a few days back in the first grade, I did figure out that William could not be trusted to put on his uniform in his room. There were way too many tempting distractions in there. I’d walk away, after carefully laying out his uniform, only to find him 20 minutes later, nekkid, reading a book.
And then my head would explode.
So I moved his uniform to my bedroom closet. He gets dressed in there now. There is nothing fun about my room and my closet, plus, Dave is right there getting ready for work, so there’s really nothing to do but get dressed. When I did this, I felt I was some sort of parenting genius. Move over Dr. Spock!
And then this year happened.
Now I have two kids who are getting ready simultaneously. Neither of which has the attention span God gave a gnat. I managed to yell at both of my children on their very first day of school. And I spent the entirety of that day feeling like a monster. A yell-y, awful she-bitch.
So I prayed, meditated, and generally begged God to give me some guidance. And lo, the heavens opened and a ray of light shone down upon my laminator and a choir of angels began to sing.
Yes. I said laminator.
I made each of my kids a morning checklist. Then I laminated it. Then I simply woke my children for school, handed each of them a dry erase marker and the list, and walked away. And you guys? IT TOTALLY WORKED! Now? If I see my kids dawdling in the morning, I simply say “where are you on your list?”, which prompts them to get back at it.
Since implementing the Morning Laminated List, I haven’t yelled even once. My blood pressure has remained low during the entire process. The children have even been ready EARLY, allowing them to play a bit before it’s time to leave.
Parents, I cannot recommend this enough. Seriously, this is a total game-changer. Do it. Do it right this very minute.
ps – I even made an After School Checklist and it totally works too! I feel as though I have discovered the Rosetta Stone of parenting!