TIP 1: Preparation is key
Pack, plan and do as much the night before as you can. Organise lunches, sign school forms, put sports kit/musical instruments/etc. by the front door to avoid extra leg work in the morning.
TIP 2: The early bird gets the coffee
Getting up 20 minutes before your family, and enjoying a coffee and the radio in the lull before the storm can get your energy levels ready to stay on top of the morning rush.
TIP 3: Dress for success
Getting the kids dressed can be the first challenge. Try laying out clothes for the next day on the floor in the shape they would be worn. This is fun for your kids to look at too.
TIP 4: Avoid diva meltdowns
If your battle to persuade your child that their ballet tutu and purple sparkly wellington boots are not acceptable school clothing, try keeping them hidden away to avoid temptation.
TIP 5: Get into the groove
For kids that are naturally slower to get ready and easily distracted, create a playlist—each song linked to a task—so they know that by the end of their favourite song they should be dressed and ready.
TIP 6: On your marks, get set…
Maybe your child is competitive. Try time trials to test how quickly he or she can manage each task. Or make getting ready into a game of 'beat the timer’.
TIP 7: Make time to snuggle
Some kids need a cuddle before getting going. Try waking them 5 minutes earlier to accommodate this precious request. Or let them get dressed in the kitchen and chat while you make breakfast.
TIP 8: Independence starts in the a.m.
Teach kids independence by having them make a chart for getting ready. They can also learn to serve themselves breakfast if the ingredients are kept together low in the fridge with the cereals and bowls close by the table.
TIP 9: Tech-free zone
Gadgets like phones and TVs are a major distraction in the morning. It's best to restrict these distractions until your kids are ready for school. Or, try using them as a reward for getting ready on time.
TIP 10: Show them you care
Mornings are notorious times for nervous tummy aches in kids who worry about school and friends. Encourage your children to share their worries and help them with solutions so they can bounce confidently into school.
TIP 11: Dream big
Mornings are when dreams are fresh in our mind. Ask everyone what they dreamt about, then have fun deciphering what it means!
TIP 12: The more the merrier
To break the routine, why not turn breakfast into an even bigger social event by letting them invite a friend round for breakfast? You can have fun making invitations.
TIP 13: Think about it…
Get your children interested in current affairs at an early age by carefully explaining an age-appropriate headline story from each day’s morning news and asking them their thoughts.
TIP 14: Knock, knock…
If the news is a bit serious for first thing in your morning, there's no reason why old favourites such as I-spy, Who am I? or jokes can't be shared. It sends everyone off in a good mood!