|By D.M.F, 8 years old.|
By Anna M.*
The hour that I fear most on week days is 7:45 AM. It's when I have to get my 8 and 10-years-old sons ready to go to school.
But there's more. I figured that my heart pounds faster (for the wrong reasons) all the times I have to make sure that they will get ready to go anywhere on time! From birthday parties to music classes... It's when motherhood kidnaps the best from me and transforms me into a monster mom and even a yelling woman on the verge of a neurotic breakdown. I am sure I am not alone. When I talk to other moms at school they all agree it's a tough time to be a parent.
Well, before I share my latest strategies to avoid the daily drama, I had to outline the reasons for my stress. The main one is the frustration of having to repeat the same thing over and over again. Really? I have to repeat every day that they need to eat breakfast, brush their teeth, etc etc etc. It kills me slowly up to when I totally lose my patience. So that's the first thing I have to solve. The second thing that drives me nuts is basically their easy way of getting distracted, either playing with the cats, talking about some new strategy on Minecraft or even about the weather! And the third is the fact they forget to put their snack into the backpack or something like that.
So, here are a few ideas I am developing to make this moment easier for our family:
Sharing the Reasons _ As I always tell other people, parents and educators can explain the reasons why we are asking the kids to follow instructions, so that each action has a deeper meaning. That said, I sat down with them when we were are tranquil and explained the reasons for each of the things they have to do before leaving home. As basic as why leaving their shoes close to the door will make your life easier, to why we brush our teeth before leaving for school.
To Do Lists _ We wrote down a list of things to do before the morning after. Such as picking the clothes to wear and organizing homework in the backpack. That is helping them to organize their mind and be aware of smart time management. If I get to solve this and be consistent, maybe I will be able to eliminate one more angle of our morning drama.
Menu Planning _ I found that my boys like predictability. So I am working on a weekly planning for their school lunch, so they know what to expect. Once they prefer to bring lunch from home, as opposed to eat from the cafeteria, they are keen on sharing their opinion and wishes. But they also know that if I am working on that morning it might be difficult to make everything ready, so they might have to cope and eat an "emergency" lunch at the cafeteria.
Empathy _That's probably the hardest one. I remembered when I was a 10 year old trying to figure how to be efficient and catch the bus school on time. I remembered that wearing a uniform helped a lot, so I just had to ask for my mom to have everything ready and clean. But then there were all other things: homework in the bag, etc etc. The main thing was not to get distracted by something which would make me loose track of time. So I have to remember everyday that children sometimes have other interests and might be easily distracted. Even my boys...
It's all about love _ Kissing them goodbye, hugging them and being warm. That's by far the best part of my morning: They feel appreciated and it gets easy to find that all I do is because I love them and want them to grow up being able to manage their schedule, because that will make their life easy.
* Anna Muggiati is a mom of 2 boys. She's energetic, but not a morning person. She is a journalist, chef and currently POVI's Content Manager. She cares about the environment and loves cooking, and extends her advocacy to EQ. She joined Povi mission to develop better conversation for families for the social good; also help admin the EQ for kids group at Facebook.
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