WFMW: Four Things

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Do you get tired of asking your kids to get dressed, brush their teeth, make their beds, and go potty 1800 times before you leave - and then following them around to make sure they do it?

And oh yeah, put on your shoes!
I do. So, when I saw the school year approaching (with an early morning exit required), I decided to make some changes.
These printable morning routine cards, from I Can Teach My Child are the bomb. Ours are simply taped to the wall, but you may want to follow Jenae's advice and laminate/magnetize yours. (I will laminate mine soon, as I want them to last!) I showed them to the boys a few days before school started, and told them that these four things must be done before we can leave the house. We practiced during those last few summer days, and they got accustomed to doing "the four things" ON THEIR OWN. 
Now, about 15 minutes before we need to leave, I simply say, "Have you done your four things?" and they hop to it. The cards give them a visual check list, so I don't have to follow them around like an exhausted and cranky task master. What a welcome change for me and for them. As they work their way down the list, they often report on their progress, "Look! I'm dressed!" or "Come see my bed!" 
I don't expect perfection.
The key - as in most parenting issues - is to be consistent. We cannot leave until "the four things" are done. Enforcing that takes time, but a few late arrivals at the end of the summer have resulted in a much smoother morning routine this school year. Hooray! for that. It works for me.

How do you get your kids out the door on time?

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2 Responses to “WFMW: Four Things”

  1. I just have one (age 7) and what we keep learning, over and over again, is that it's crucial to do all your get-ready steps before you do anything "extra" like playing or reading. Whenever we slip up in being consistent about this, we have last-minute freak-outs about not having time to get ready. Frankly, this is just as important for me as it is for him! (It would be important for Daddy, too, except that he works at home--well, it's important when we are going somewhere as a family at a certain time, as it seems that Daddy always waits until it's time to leave and then decides to use the bathroom!) Just this past Sunday, I agreed to read my son a story while he finished his breakfast, thinking we had plenty of time...and then somehow it was 10 minutes before time to leave for church and I wasn't even in the shower yet!

  2. perfect- I use a shoe basket by the front door too - :)