It’s 6 a.m.! While you crave another hour of shut-eye, your preschooler has other ideas. (Or maybe you have to be at work by eight, so the morning shuffle begins.) No matter your schedule, with confidence and preparation, you can make early wake-up calls less stressful for you both.
A good morning starts with a good night. Threes and fours enjoy pleasing the adults in their lives, so enlist your child’s help the evening before in preparing for the next day. Delegate age-appropriate responsibilities. Ask him to pick a shirt to wear the next day, for instance, or to choose from a “menu” you’ll serve for breakfast.
To Each His Own
When the alarm goes off, keep your child’s personality in mind. If your little one has a “slow to warm” temperament, give her a blanket to cuddle with and play soft music to keep the morning calm. If her style is to hit the deck running, strengthen hand-eye coordination and thinking skills by asking her to set the table or bring backpacks to the door.
Routines help preschoolers know what to expect and to ease into the day without constant supervision. You might set up your child’s routine with sequential activities on a picture chart (eat breakfast, brush teeth, dress, get backpack) so he can stay on task.
Reduce morning demands by keeping important supplies within your child’s reach. Store cereal boxes and bowls on a low shelf so she can get her own breakfast. Keep socks and underwear in a bottom drawer. Finally, hang backpacks on low pegs so she can learn the responsibility of packing for school!
Other ways to streamline your morning:
Simplify Routines. Set a timer so he’ll know when to finish brushing his teeth. Use a quilt, rather than a sheet and blanket, to simplify bedmaking. Put toiletries in individual caddies. Keep items in the same place so kids can find them.
Provide Perks. Motivate your child to get going by offering special activities if she finishes everything she needs to do, such as listening to a favorite story on a CD.
Build Skills. Enhance her math skills when she counts out spoons for cereal and cuts square toast into rectangles and triangles for breakfast.
Set an Example. Display a positive wakeup attitude to start the day. Sing a happy “rise-and-shine” song that includes the activities she can anticipate doing.
Photo: Fancy Photography/Veer