Are your mornings always chaotic? Between making breakfast, packing lunches, getting everyone dressed and hunting for homework assignments, it's easy to feel like you've put in a day's worth of work before 9 a.m.
The answer is to start the night before, with kids and parents picking out the next day's clothes and filling backpacks and placing them at the door, along with any exercise or afterschool activity bags.
Tip: Buy or make a cute blackboard or erasable white board and hang it up right near the door you use to leave your home. Write a "don't leave home without it" checklist on it and review it before you pile into the car or head out to the bus stop. It's easier to see than a paper to-do list and can be easily updated as needed.
Speaking of logistics, before your kids go to sleep, review the next day's game plan. Are there any events, like a doctor's appointment or a play date, on the agenda? Confirm who's driving who and when.
Before you go to sleep, do any possible breakfast and lunch bag prep work. With a quiet house, you'll work more efficiently.
Start each morning on the right foot with a gentle wake-up call for kids. That might be an alarm clock that plays their favorite music or a hug from mom or dad. Establish a daily get-ready pattern for everyone to follow in the same order, possibly with a set bathroom time for each family member.
The more routine you can make your mornings, the more easily everyone will adopt the plan and benefit from a sense of calm.