Good start to the day

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FAMILY - By PRISCILLA J. DUN­STAN

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.

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