Getting Ready for School Is Driving Me Crazy!

Updated on November 12, 2009
E.R. asks from Plano, TX
8 answers

Help! How do you get ready for school? I get my son up at 7a to eat, dress and get to school...It is enough time....But at the table he zones out to cartoons (Agent Ozo) ..I have to keep at him to eat, eat, eat.....Then to dress...I have to help him and he is a limp noodle....Once pressed for time he decides that the needs to brush his own hair and and then when we are walking out the door put on his own backpack without my help......Do you watch cartoon in the AM...I feel like it's a part of school...As I'm typing this I'm guessing maybe I should just have him get dressed before cartoons....Maybe that will solve the problem as that is what takes the most time out of the AM.....I just start freaking out once we are past the time we are suppose to be in the car...And I hate to keep nagging him to come on, come on, come on.....Whew

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answers from Dallas on

Some kids just have a harder time in the morning. If he is getting enough sleep and you don't think that is the problem I think you have the right idea. No cartoons until he has eaten and dressed.......maybe let him eat in front of the t.v. as a reward to being dressed and ready to go. Some people have trouble eating first thing. I understand you want him to have nutrients in the morning. Would going to bed 1/2 hour earlier and getting up 1/2 hour earlier help him to be in the mood to eat? He may need a little time to zone out. What are his weekend habits?

Don't freak out. The worst that can happen is that he will be late. Let the consequences fall at school. Better now, than in High School. In fact, you could go and talk to the teacher and discuss it. Agree on appropriate consequences, like staying after school to make up work. Don't let her chastise him in front of the other kids and Don't take away recess.......I hate that. Kids need a break during the day. If you can agree with a reasonable consequence with the teacher you don't have to be the bad guy or jeopardize your relationship with your child. If you are yelling at him every morning he is probably tuning you out and feeling he can't do any better. However if you work it out with the teacher, and have an appropriate consequence at school......not only will you be off the hook but the natural consequences may do the trick. Right now there are no consequences other than being yelled at. We've all done it, but it really doesn't help.

I'm a type A too E.. My second child zoned out and never considered the clock. I learned a lot from him! I'm much better at "letting go." Try rewards at home and consequences at school. Keep home happy, not anxious. I didn't always accomplish this, of course, but it sure is nice when I do.

Also, a big clock, or setting a timer helps too.

Good Luck and enjoy!

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answers from Dallas on

Hello E.,

I would get him up 5 minutes earlier that way he can be ready before the cartoons. Eventually I just don't even turn on the tv in the morning anymore. it was too stressful. I like them to start the day relax and happy. there will be plenty of time for them to be stressed later in the least that's what I think. I try (don't always do it..but I try) to have soft music going on when whey wake up. I rub their backs/feet/legs and sing them a very short SHORT song... well it's just saying:
---good morning, good morning, how are you, I love you, God bless you, I love you, I love you very much---

It takes about 30 seconds to 'pamper' them in the morning and I think it makes a world of difference for the whole day. it's amazing how much talking is needed in the morning. and yes, they'll zone out. I feel like a coach in the morning.... go potty, get in the shower, brush your teeth, do you have your.... (insert each piece of clothing here) on? socks on, shoes on, let's brush your hair (I have a 7 year old girl w/ long hair) the it's ... is everything in your backpack? (even if they packed it the night before) definitely... no tv in the morning...

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answers from San Francisco on

With our kindergartner, his routine is:

7-715: he wakes up, goes to the bathroom then brushes his teeth before coming to the kitchen for breakfast, otherwise, we tend to run out of time for brushing teeth, so I like to get that out of the way first.

715-730: I have his clothes for the day ready the night before, waiting for him on the kitchen table. As I get breakfast ready, he gets dressed (sometimes with help when he's tired/lazy). He eats.

730-745: When he's done, he puts on his shoes and jacket and out the door we go at 745-750 am.

I make his lunch the night before. If we're running ahead of schedule he might be able to watch some TV, if we're running late, no TV. He's pretty flexible, so he's okay with the inconsistency here.


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answers from Dallas on

Don't turn on the TV until he has eaten and is totally ready for school. Let him know that watching cartoons in the morning is okay after the necessary things are done. Make it a game.....hurry, hurry, hurry-we are gonna miss our cartoons. And if he doesn't-don't give in. A couple days of him not getting to watch TV in the monring will probably fix the issue.

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answers from Dallas on

If they're not already up, I wake them by 7am.

Backpacks (homework, snacks, anything I need to sign, etc.) are all done the night before.

They MUST be completely dressed w/shoes on before they eat.
Afterwards, they clear their dishes, and brush their teeth or hair, before they can do anything else.

We try to be out the door by 7:40, so the kids enter school at 7:45 - over the years, teachers have mentioned that the kids do better if they have time to get settled in their classrooms before morning announcements at 8:00.

I'm fortunate that my DH leaves for work at that same time. He takes them to school every morning, and if someone isn't ready, they don't drive with daddy. (quite the punishment in our house:))

We've also got an article from on our LISD page: - Stop Morning Madness

Good Luck! Free guide to affordable family activities in Lewisville, Flower Mound, Highland Village, and the surrounding communities.

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answers from Dallas on

i help my kids pick out their clothes the night before..they get up eat breakfast ,get dressed, brush teeth and hair and if there is still time then they can watch cartoon until it is time to leave...its incentive to hurry and get it done and if they dilly dally than the consequence is no cartoons .. it works pretty well for us

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answers from Dallas on

I only have one child to get ready in the morning - a 2nd grader. This has been our morning routine since kindergarten and it's worked well as he is not much of a morning person.

7:00 - I get him up and get him dressed. I know he could do it himself and when we're not pressed for time, I of course let him, but this just speeds things up as he likes to stare in the morning just like I do.

7:10 - We're down stairs. He sits and stares on the couch while I fix his breakfast. Then, he goes to the table and eats while watching Spongebob. While he eats, I put together his lunch box and his back pack. I really get most of it ready the night before, I just have to get his drink, cold gel pack, and anything else that needs to be refrigerated in his lunch box (fruit, sandwich, etc). He puts his homework and anything else in his backpack the night before, I just load his water bottle and lunch box.

7:25 - He gets his shoes on, and is out the door at 7:30.

I know I probably do more for him that I should, but it really speeds things up. I find it makes for a better day then to start off yelling and nagging so much. I know how he feels in the morning. I zone out a lot too, so I have to allow extra time for that. I set my alarm 15-20 minutes before I have to actually get up so I can have my time to sit and stare into space! :) My parents like to laugh at me that I gave birth to myself!

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answers from Dallas on

I totally agree with Carmen about having the day start out relaxed and happy. My husband and I are total opposites in this regard. I'm NOT a morning person by any stretch and my husband has always been an early riser, so usually my husband let's me sleep in a little and gets the kids up and running in the morning. He's very drill sargeant about it, getting them up at the last possible moment and then on them with "LET'S GO, LET'S GO, LET'S GO!" the whole time trying to get them out the door.

On days when he's not home to get everyone up, I am much more laid back and take a much calmer approach. First thing I do is plan for the morning the night before. I make sure clothes are laid out, book bags are ready to go, we have food available for breakfast, etc. My husband leaves the TV on in the morning. I don't allow any TV. Instead, I wake the kids up a little earlier (5 or 10 minutes) and try to appeal to what they like individually. Like my 10 year old daughter, she always wants more sleep. So for her, I tell her if she gets ready, clothes, teeth, hair, etc., she can go back to sleep until it's time to go. She loves that and gets ready quick. My 5 year old son, on the other hand, he loves to snuggle in the morning. So after I gently wake him up, I sit there and let him snuggle on my lap for about 10 or 15 minutes and then he's up and ready to get going. I essentially get the same results as my husband, but everyone leaves the house a lot more calmly and happily in the morning. My daughter has said she likes the way I wake them up and get them going in the mornings better than Dad's way. LOL :-)

To save a little more time, and since we're not much for breakfast on the weekdays anyway, we usually have something on the go, like banana and bagel, juice and toast, yogurt and tortilla, occasionally there's time for cereal, but in general, my kids love eating in the car on the way to school and daycare so I try to make sure we have things that are easy to take on the go. Additionally, my daughter drinks a Boost in the morning for protein, and I give my son an Ensure drink in the morning for extra vitamins. While I know some families have to have the sit down breakfast and all, that just doesn't work for us. My kids would not eat if that's what we tried to do on weekdays. They are like me. I can't really eat until an hour or two after I wake up so the quick breakfast in the car works well for us, and luckily for me, it saves time too. :-) My husband, again total opposite, goes from the bed to the kitchen to get something to eat in the morning.

Mornings can be rough 'cause you do have to leave by a certain time to get where you're going on time. I think it's best to do what you can to keep things calm and you just have to find what works best for your family. If that means letting your kid get 15 minutes more sleep after they dress, or eating breakfast in the car, or getting everything ready the night before, or giving your child 15 minutes of cartoon time AFTER they are all ready to go, I think that's all perfectly fine.


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