Families are back to school after the long break – are there simple things you can do that ensure smoother school mornings?

Mornings begin the night before

Do up a list of what needs to be done and let each child choose something they can do whether it is to set the table for breakfast or unload the dishwasher, pre prepare or set up school lunchs, have uniform, shoes, sports bag laid out ready etc.

Encouragement – “Thank you; that really helps me”

Support it with a star Chart on the fridge where each child gets a star for each chore done. The secret is to use encouragement and notice what your child has done and tell them – then they will do more; so often we discourage them and dry up effort.

8 Minutes a day is all a child needs to feel loved, valued and secure

Eight minutes of one on one undistracted, undiluted one on one time – on waking spend time with ryour child, time for a hug or cuddle, time to tell them how much you love them. Your child will respond with better behaviour and more co operation as you are co operating with their need for time and attention.

Get up half an hour earlier

Parents tell me this makes such a difference as most of the time, if the parent is rushing, irritable and impatient due to a lack of time it impacts on their interaction with their children. With extra time, the parent has time and their interaction with their child instead is patient, encouraging and positive. However; in order to do this ; you may have to go to bed earlier!

Catch them being good

A different interaction provokes a different response and if I have given time to myself, I have time for my child. A child who has a more respectful and warmer interaction with their parent is a child who will be more co operative and be happier to meet your need to get out on time and perhaps even help with younger siblings. Parents are astonished to find to find that if they are calmer, the house is calmer and sufficient/ extra time ensures that.