Ah, yes, the morning rush when you are trying to get yourself and your young children ready so you can leave home on time. Is there peace and harmony? Or do you find yourself repeatedly reminding your kids that they need to brush their teeth, get dressed, get their stuff together to take with them, hurry up or we'll be late, etc.?
Here's a simple system that will teach your kids to be ready in 15 minutes or less! It worked for us and I know it can work for your family, too!
The system created a habit of 5 consistent steps they needed to do each morning
- They felt a sense of accomplishment when the tasks were completed - especially without prompting from me
- Increased their self-confidence and self-esteem as they became more proficient through habit
The photo above is an example of their morning routine as a poster. We started with the thumb and worked our way down to the pinkie. The tasks are strategically placed. For example, the kids need to brush their teeth before getting dressed to avoid getting toothpaste on their clothing. The backpack is last because that is the last thing grabbed when we walk out the door.
I didn't add "eat" because that was one thing I never needed to remind my kids to do. Breakfast was offered AFTER the other tasks were completed. It served as motivation to get everything else done.
When making the posters, get your kids to help you as much as possible. This way they feel involved and will be more willing to use the system. Each child has their own poster:
- Have each of your children trace their hand on piece of paper - let them choose the color
- Let them choose the clipart they want for representing each task
- If they are old enough, have them cut out and glue to hand outline near the appropriate finger
- Ask them to write their name somewhere on the poster (makes it personal)
- Place in clear plastic sleeve and hang in room. We taped ours to the back of their door.
We also used this chart in the evenings as the kids got ready for bed. At night, the pointer finger represented putting on pajamas, putting their other clothes in the laundry, and getting out the clothes they were going to wear the next day. I found that when they picked out the clothes the night before, it was ok if they took a little longer to figure out what they wanted to wear because we didn't have the same time crunch. This was especially true with the girls.
As you teach your children this system, be consistent as you ask them to go through the tasks on their fingers, starting with the thumb.If they forget what a finger represents, send them back to look at their picture. This re-enforces self-sufficiency and builds their self-worth.
Please share the photos of the "hand charts" your family makes! I'll post them on my FB page. Your kids will love to see their "work of art" online!
One problem. One solution. 15 minutes. Done.