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How can I make it easier on school mornings?

I have a 5 year old in Pre-K. We have fought all year with getting dressed in the morning. She goes to bed around 8:00 - 8:30. It is just so hard to get her moving in the am. She sits on the toilet for 10 minutes then brushes her teeth for 10 minutes. She still has to get dressed after that. We always end up in a yelling match so that we can get out of the door in time. I don't know if I can keep doing this - especially next year! Please, any ideas?

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Asked by sarah70518 at 11:11 PM on May. 3, 2009 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (20)
  • I have been in your shoes and still am some days! My dd (age 11) doesn't know how to get in a hurry! I let her sleep too late in the morning some times if she has been up later the night before because of homework, etc. then we are in a rush trying to get to school on time. So I'm partially to blame. One thing that I do that seems to work is to have a race with her to see who can get dressed the quickest. We have fun and she's getting ready at the same time. It starts our day better than yelling at each other (which we do too sometimes!) Good luck with this! (P.S. Just a couple more weeks and school will be out & we can take a break for a while! Yippee!!)

    Answer by madsmom11597 at 11:18 PM on May. 3, 2009

  • You might try going to bed a little earlier so that you can get up about 30 minitues earlier. Then you can make a reward chart for her and let her put stickers on it each day when she complets her list of things to do. For ex in the AM gets up brushes teeth makes her bed picks up her clothes and gets out the door by a certain time. then when she gets home have some small chores for her to do to earn a reward at the end of the week it does not have to be anything more than a special play date with you for an house just make it something she likes. Also You may try letting her watch 15 or 20 minitues of her favorite cartoon in the morning while drinking some jucie befor you start having her brush teeth and doing things to get her going! Mabe this will help I have a 4 year old who is starting kindergarden and this is what I am going to try with her because she hates getting up she will sleep till noon daily if possible.

    Answer by abbibaileylily at 11:18 PM on May. 3, 2009

  • Lay out all the clothes, back pack, and what ever she needs to take with her, the night before!! I have everything ready for my three kids laid out in piles before I go to bed. (outfit, underwear, socks, shoes, and even hair bows for the girls) If your child is picky about what they wear to school, let them pick the outfit but do it before they go to bed. I'm a single mom and if I didn't have it all set out the night before I would loose my mind trying to get three ready at 6 am every morning!!

    also.... Try to set the alarm for 15 minutes earlier that you have been getting up. When we over sleep the time-crunch really stresses me out! 15 minutes makes a huge difference in my stress level each morning.

    Answer by VeronicaLee at 11:20 PM on May. 3, 2009

  • try putting her to bed earlier and do her teeth for her if she takes to long

    Answer by MommaandStepMom at 7:52 AM on May. 4, 2009

  • my kids lay down at 630-7ish and they still have a hard time getting up, so if u find an answer let me know.

    Answer by lienna at 8:27 AM on May. 4, 2009

  • Put her in bed earlier. I know that my kids (7, 5, and 3) go to bed at 7:30, and we notice a huge difference in attitude if they go to bed at 8:00 instead. Lay out her clothes in the evening. Let her help pick them so you can reduce the power struggles of "I want to wear THAT shirt instead." Make sure that everything is ready. If she is dawdling, set a timer and tell her she has 5 minutes to brush teeth, brush hair, get dressed, etc. Start a sticker reward chart - if she got ready without you needing to yell, she'll get a sticker, and if she's got 5 then you get to do something special on the weekend. And try to stick to the schedule for sleep and waking up on the weekends - it makes Monday's easier.

    Answer by dolphincjc at 8:42 AM on May. 4, 2009

  • Oh, and try getting her up 15 minutes earlier and letting her have wake-up time, but don't turn on the TV.

    Answer by dolphincjc at 8:42 AM on May. 4, 2009

  • Try moving bedtime up by half an hour, and tell her why you are doing it. Also, I would lay out her clothes the night before and do everything else that I could ahead of time. I think the biggest problem is that children are being forced into a routine for which they are just not yet ready. School systems are designed more for the convenience of the adults who work there than for the children who are forced to attend. That means you may just have to follow her around and tell her step by step what she needs to be doing. It also means that you will have to understand that she may not be ready to adhere to such a tight early morning schedule. I'm 62, and I still am not a morning person, no matter how early I go to bed. It could be that she just has an internal clock that's not set to early rising.

    Answer by NannyB. at 9:03 AM on May. 4, 2009

  • There is this great chore chart from Amy Knapp's Family Organizer that she is the perfect age for. Here is the link to the item :

    Something like that might help get her motivated. I know it did for my son when he was that age. It's also nice because YOU set up the rewards. You can even let her help pick what rewards she can earn. That will make it more real and exciting to her. I don't think her bedtime is the problem. 8:00/8:30 is a perfectly reasonable bedtime for a child that age. You might want to try getting her up 10 minutes earlier the next day if she dawdles and tell her that is why she needs to get up earlier.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:19 AM on May. 4, 2009

  • go to bed earlier. some kids just need more sleep. I have always told my kids if I have to fuss at you in the morning you must not have gotten enough sleep and their bedtime gets moved up 1/2 hour for a while. when my daughter was in preschool she had to be in bed by 7:30 for her to have good mornings.

    Answer by Lyndall at 9:30 AM on May. 4, 2009

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