I'm a parenting expert – the reason why kids take so long to get ready for school & how to make the morning a breeze | The Sun
THE MORNING rush can be a manic couple of hours for parents and kids, all trying to remember different thing and trying to make sure everyone is out the door on time.
And kids don't always make the mornings as easy as they could be and often resent getting up and ready for school.
Dr Rosina McAlpine, from Australia, is a parenting expert and CEO of Win Win Parenting, she spoke to Fabulous to reveal some of the things parents can do to help make mornings run smoothly.
It turns out there are a few different reasons why kids might drag out getting ready for school, but the main thing to remember is that it's completely normal.
Rosina explains: "Many children don't have the same sense of time or urgency as adults do. Adults are keenly aware of not being late for school or work.
"Children are aware that they need to go to school but don't have the sense of timing as usually their parents are hurrying them along so they are not late.
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In between being distracted by various toys, technology or pets and children's frequent daydreaming, it's a wonder they manage to get out the house at all.
And it's not just young kids, Rosina says that teenagers are just as bad.
"Teenagers may be obsessed or even addicted to their screens and can't get off them to get ready for school on time.
"It may also be school avoidance – deep down the child doesn't want to go to school so they will not rush to get ready."
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How to deal with tired kids
Of course, it's also possible that kids take so long to get ready for the same reason adults do – they're just tired!
Rosina says: "This can be true of teenagers who may be studying late into the night(if only) or gaming and on social media until the wee hours of the morning (more likely)!"
And just because kids might struggle to get out of bed you should label them as lazy, Rosina explains.
"Being organised and efficient is a skill we need to help children learn. The prefrontal cortex of the brain – the executive centre of the brain used for planning, executing and considering consequences is not fully developed in children until their twenties.
"For boys it's not fully developed until the mid to late twenties and girls early to mid twenties – and yes I said twenties!"
Parents should remember this when setting expectations for their kids, Rosina says.
How parents can encourage kids to be on time
If your kids are frequently late for school, or make you late for appointments and work because they take so long to get out the house, there are a few fixes.
It's all about communication for the childcare expert, who says: "Parents should discuss the importance of being punctual for school and for work and how stressful it is for everyone when we're running late."
Parents can hold a family meeting and write down everyone's ideas in a notebook
"Write down all suggestions – no matter how unrealistic, like 'let's pay someone to help me' or unhelpful 'you dress me and you make my lunch.'
"Consider all suggestions and agree on the ones that are realistic, for example 'let's create routines and checklists for the morning so we can efficiently get everything done and be on time for preschool, school and work!'"
If you want to avoid arguments, make sure you're up and ready before you kids, that way you don't have to worry about multitasking through an already stressful part of the day.
"Also, consider your attitude," Rosina says, "I love my mantra 'make it fun and keep it light rather than a fight.'
"It reminds me to remember to stay present, to breathe through challenges rather than react and upset myself and everyone else and make it out the door on time and with a real smile rather than a fake smile when I can!"
Create a morning plan
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Parents can help make mornings a breeze by creating a plan for kids to follow.
However, don't expect an immediate change, since it could a few weeks for their new morning routine to set in and fee like a habit.
Moring plan example for kids
Here are some steps from Dr Rosina that parents can include.
Wake up smiling
Make the bed
Put shoes on
Grab backpack, water bottle, lunchbox and homework
Head out the door
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