32 answers

My Daughter Is the Pokiest Puppy Ever!!

I need some ideas on how to get my daughter moving in the morning. She is in Kindergarten and every morning is a battle getting her to get ready on time. If I am not constantly reminding her to wash up, brush teeth, etc she forgets what she is supposed to be doing. If I don't go in every few minutes while she is showering she will just stand in the shower for a very long time. (I let her do it on her own time once and she was in there for 35 minutes before washing her hair!) I also have a one year old that I have to get ready in the morning so I need her to be more independant so I don't have to nag all the time. I have tried using a timer, I have tried reminding her first thing that we need to concentrate on getting ready. I don't know what else to do and it is driving me crazy, and I hate nagging every morning because it puts everyone in a bad mood. Help!

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I don't know what to tell you. I have the same problem with my 9 year old daughter. She takes forever eating breakfast and she gets distracted doing anything. Anyone have any ideas?

I am the mother of seven children and THE BEST thing I have found to help kids get ready for the day and then ready for bed in the evening quickly is a CD called "Children's Miracle Music". It seriously is a miracle! Google it!

Here are some things that I do with my kids to get them ready faster in the mornings: Give her a bath or shower at night before bed rather than in the morning, you will save so much time. Lay out her outfit the night before. Fill her cereal bowl with dry cereal and put it on the table the night before, in the morning you just add the milk. Pack her lunch or whatever else she needs in her backpack the night before and place it right by the door so you can just grab it and go. Try and have everything together early so that you can take a couple of minutes for "cuddle time" before you have to leave, this will make the whole day better for both of you. Good luck, I hope that this helps!

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First of all, you are giving her waaaaaay too much to do for a kindergartner! Bathe her at night and get her bedtime down to a reasonable hour (8:00?).
Make a big deal about how big she is now, and get her her own alarm clock. Make her feel important doing things on her own. If she doesn't brush her teeth one morning, the world won't end, and her teeth won't fall out (at least until the first grade, anyway!)
Lay her clothes out together the night before so they are ready for her to just jump into. Give HER more power, and what she doesn't do, talk about that night. Ask her what she forgot, and what she can do in the morning to remember. Try REALLY hard not to nag her; it sounds like she is just tuning you out. If you aren't continually telling her what to do, she will rise to your expectations. If she chooses to stay undressed past a certain time, she goes to school in what she has on, unless it's her undies, of course. Let her school-mates help her be a little more motivated.
Can you get your littlest one ready before your kindergartner? That may give you a little more "less stressful" time for encouragement, not nagging. That seems to turn off the ears and make one helpless.
Let us know how it goes!

Does she have to shower in the morning? Showering in the evening may save time in the morning. Maybe a checklist so she knows how to do it and in what order? Laminate it so she can check each task off.

I know it sounds stupid, but does she know exactly what needs to be done on a daily basis before she goes to school? I have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees, if you will. I get overwhelmed if there are too many steps or too many tasks, and none of them get done. Just a thought!

Have you tried creating a visual list of what needs to happen each morning with a check-off list or a reward system.. we use tokens that can be used to watch TV or saved to do something else.. like going to the Zoo, family movie night, whatever.
I also wonder about moving the shower to the evening so your daughter can just get up and get dressed. It seems like that is one easy thing that you can easily move to nighttime and it can be a much more relaxing event.


I was browsing for some advise myself and came across this link. There are several suggestions from parents who are in your shoes. I hope you find something that works for your daughter.


Sounds to me like she needs to go to bed earlier, she should be in bed by 8pm. And my sisters and I always took bathes at night. That way my mom didn't have to deal with drying our hair before we went out in the cold. Make sure she is getting a healthy breakfast. If you eliminate the shower in the morning, maybe she could have time to do some stretches and jumping jacks. Get her moving and maybe she would feel more alert.

Ok L., maybe you need to simplify the morning routine. Try having her shower at night and also pick out her clothes. And make sure the homework is in the back pack and placed where it is easy to find. This seemed to work the best for our family hope it helps. Good luck!!

Hmm, Well My son is about to start kindergarden and first of all, how did you get your daughter to switch to showers?? :) Seems like that may be a bit too much morning routine for a child of her age. Perhaps switching to (or back to) evening showers, so you save some time there.

I run into the morning battle with my two boys and have tried out various routines. None are perfect, but I have found if I get them up at 6AM, they have plenty of time to wake up, watch a PBS show, eat, brush, etc. and we are out the door ususally by 7:45AM.

This means I wake up at 5:30, but it also helps me prepare for the day ahead and not being so rushed and cranky in the morning from nagging and being nagged makes everyone's day start out on a much better foot.
Good luck!

I am laughing just reading your post. I have a son who was late to everything until he joined the military and they fixed his "tardy" problem : ). We did make it to school on time until he was old enough to drive himself though. You have the right idea with the timer. Set the timer for when you plan on leaving the house and then be willing to stick to it. Let your daughter know in no uncertain terms that when the timer dings, you will put her in the car no matter what condition she is in. (Secretly pack a paper bag with some clothes, shoes, etc). Put her backpack in the car the night before. Then follow through with your promise! It only took my son 2 times of being dumped in the car in his underwear and having to finish dressing in the school parking lot to learn to be dressed before the timer dinged! But it only works if you are on time and have the other child ready. Good luck!

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