FOR many families the morning rush hour is the most stressful part of the day. Everyone is trying to get ready, the clock is ticking, and it can feel as though the children are doing everything they can to make you late, writes parenting expert Professor Matt Sanders.

So how can you and the kids get out the door on time? I believe the key is organisation:

  • Get yourself ready first, before your child. To avoid last-minute rushing prepare some things the night before and go to bed at a reasonable hour, if you can.
  • Don’t have the TV on in the morning. If the kids are fully ready you can turn the television on then.
  • Let your child know ahead of time that you’ll be going out and explain exactly what the day’s activities will be and their time requirements.
  • Younger children can learn the importance of organisation by doing things for themselves. Teaching children to get dressed by themselves is a chance to practice independent skills and it might save you time.
  • Try the “beat the clock” game. Your child’s goal is to be ready before the alarm clock sounds. If your child wins, they earn a small treat or reward such as a favourite snack in their lunch box. Often it will only take a two-week period of beating the clock before the rewards and the clock can be phased out. Remember to always praise your child’s achievements.

With a little preparation, the stress of getting out on time can be reduced and those morning rush hours can become a bit calmer.

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