Are you tired of the morning rat race, getting yourself and your kids ready?
I have a solution that will make your life better. Way better. I have been doing it for years, and it has made my mornings simple, easy and enjoyable.
Here it is: Teach your kids to get ready for school on their own, so you don’t have to nag and do it for them.
It can’t be done, you say. Well, I have proof.
My kids have been dressing themselves since they were 2. For all you Type A’s out there, this requires letting go. Their clothes will not match. Their shoes will be on the wrong feet. My son is 5, and he still puts his shirts on backwards. It’s OK. It does not bother them.
That’s not all my kids do in the mornings. They are 5 and 7, and they make their breakfast and lunch. I let them use knives and the HOT toaster oven to make toast (gasp!) Here is photo proof.
My son holds a knife after he cuts the crust off his bread before he toasts it. Note the mismatched PJ’s and backwards shirt.
My daughter starts the toaster oven.
They can make their own lunches because their food is in a cubby at their level, along with their GLASS dishes. They only have healthy foods to choose from, so I am not concerned about what they pick. (We don’t have sugar in the house, mainly because I will eat it. We go out for dessert on the weekends.)
They know they need a protein, such as turkey on a sandwich or hummus, a fruit or vegetable, and crackers, pretzels or veggie chips. They make it and pack it all.
You know what I do every morning? I sit on the couch with the dog and read Facebook, where I get all my news. (Sorry newspaper industry.)
Why would I force my little children to do all this on their own? We hinder our children’s success by doing everything for them, as noted in this Washington Post article about millennials’ abysmal performance on a test about work-force preparedness. They don’t know how to think critically or solve problems because no one lets them.
Letting your children get dressed on their own teaches them valuable lessons. My son has learned how to get frustrated pulling that darn shirt over his head. And then he’s learned how to solve the problem by realizing he was trying to put his head through the sleeve.
It also gives them confidence. If they can complete this task of getting dressed, they look for other tasks to do, like helping me clean the house.
Yep, I’ve also taught my children how to clean house.
A few afternoons a week, we have work sessions, where my children pick a room and clean it. They dust, Swiffer, wipe floor boards, wash windows and use the hand-held vacuum. They even know how to clean a whole bathroom, including the toilet.
You might think I am Cinderella’s evil stepmother at this point. But my kids love it. They want to do purposeful work. And I don’t even have to bribe them.
Cleaning house teaches them about contributing to the greater good and their family. And they know it’s something we do before we can have fun.
So teach your kids how to start doing for themselves.
It will help them, and it will make your life a whole lot easier.