Good start to the day
Keeping the morning schedule running smoothly requires attention to how your child best responds to routine.
MORNINGS can often be a time of anxiety and discourse. By being prepared and aware of how your child naturally approaches this time of day can help you set up a routine that will help rather than hinder and have them leave for the new school day prepared and happy.
> In their excitement for the new day to begin, tactile children are apt to walk out of the door ill-prepared for the day. Lunches and school assignments will be left behind, shoes will be hurriedly grabbed as they rush out the door, and breakfast often left where it was supposed to be eaten.
Preparing for the day the night before is a good habit for these children. Placing their bag with school assignments, and laying out their clothes before bed is essential. Post-it notes, placed on door handles so they can be felt, or the school bag left in the path of the door, are good ways to help them remember. Things need to be easily at hand, because unless it is right in front of them, they are unlikely to remember.
> Auditory children do well with clumping like things together in routine chunks. Because this child thinks in a mathematically balanced way, try to have a number in mind for each combination.
You may pick the number three and have three things done in the bedroom, such as: get dressed, pack bag and make bed; or three things in the kitchen: eat breakfast, take the plate to the sink and put your lunch in your bag; and three things in the bathroom, such as: wash your face, brush your teeth and comb your hair.
By giving them the same number of activities to remember and grouping them, it is easier for the auditory child to remember what they need to do next.
> Taste and smell children are often the dilly-dalliers. They need more time in the morning in order to wake up and get organised and their pace can often be painfully slow. It’s important to remember to set up a routine with as little stress as possible, as a cross word from you in the morning is likely to affect how they feel about their whole day.
The taste and smell child finds transitions difficult, including the everyday ones like leaving for school. Try to have a family breakfast and talk about what you will be doing when you all get home at the end of the day, try to be matter-of-fact and nonemotional, even when they seem to be procrastinating or lagging behind.
> Visual children are very much all or nothing. If they like what they will be wearing, what their school bag looks like and what they are having for lunch, there will be no problems with getting them to school.
However, if they are unhappy with any aspect, you can expect their heels to be dug in and for them to be voicing their discomfort. They really aren’t trying to be disagreeable, it’s just that they need to feel comfortable on the outside before they can feel comfortable on the inside, and if a special lunch box is going to let them feel that, it’s probably better to concede and pick a different battle.
Often it’s the little things that make our children comfortable enough to leave us peacefully at the beginning of the day. Understanding how your child subconsciously responds to their morning will have an impact on how well you manage this time.
Try to keep it peaceful and as happy as possible and try your best to send your child to school from a safe and secure home base. – McClatchy-Tribune Information Services n Priscilla J. Dunstan is a child and parenting behaviour consultant, and the author of ChildSense.