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Balance Your Time with Your Kids

Written by Sierra Alvis

Advice on how to get more time with your kids by getting them to help you. Learn how a few extra steps can simplify your morning routine.

The few hours before the school bus arrives don't have to be the most stressful part of your day  so long as you think ahead. By reorganizing your schedule and changing a few tactics with your family, you can simplify your morning and successfully regain your sanity.

 
Balance Advice
Restore Your Balance 
Give your kids an alarm clock,without a snooze alarm.
 
Give the first child who is dressed, cleaned and ready to eat breakfast a special treat, like riding in the front seat.
Have your children pack their backpacks and lay out their clothes the night before.
Turn off the TV. It's hard for your kids to focus with it on. 
 
Rise and shine
If your morning is spent making unsuccessful attempts to wake your children, try passing the buck to them. Buy young children an alarm clock (preferably without a snooze feature) and make it their responsibility to wake up on time. Not only will they be excited to own such an adult item, but you'll be freed up for more important tasks, like remembering where you put the car keys.

If your children constantly fight over who gets to sit in the front seat of the car, use this as an incentive to get them out of bed. The first child to arrive in the kitchen, fully washed, combed and dressed will be the one who gets to ride shotgun.

Start early
Make it a before-bedtime routine for your children to pack backpacks, lay out clothes for the next day and bathe. Parents can make school lunches, set the breakfast table and prepare the coffee machine the night before. Getting a head start will free up your morning and allow you more time to linger over breakfast and talk with your kids.

Turn off the tube
Although parents may be great at multi-tasking their way through the morning rush, children may have a hard time completing even the simplest tasks while distracted by the TV. A child who is involved in a TV program will also be very difficult to tear way and get out the door. If you do allow television time while eating breakfast, make an agreement beforehand about what time he or she will turn the TV off, no arguments.


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