6 School Morning Routine Tips
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It’s 8:30 am and the school bell rings. You get ready to say goodbye when your child suddenly dissolves into tears and clings to your leg. After what seems like forever, the teacher is able to peel them away so you can leave.
I’ve been on both sides of this situation. No teacher or parent wants to see a child anxious at the beginning of their school day. If you’re struggling to make drop-off stress free, try these school morning routine tips.
Arrive at school knowing that your child is prepared for the day.
Pack items such as hats, jumpers and reading folders the night before. Ask them to double check that everything is there when adding their lunchbox in the morning. Something simple like forgetting a water bottle is enough to upset anxious children.
Allow enough time in the morning for your child to get themselves ready without being rushed.
Feeling stressed at home is not a great start to a relaxed transition into the classroom. It isn’t the way that parents like to feel in the morning, either! You might like to try a that helps your child prepare for the day. We started this for our two older daughters and it was particularly helpful for the youngest. She really likes the visual morning routine for kids chart displayed in her room.
Mum Hack: Hang this poster on the fridge or anywhere they can easily see; it help anxious children feel in control of their day.
Speak positively about school!
Simple comments are enough to encourage children to look forward to their time at school. Often when I’m dropping the girls at school, I’ll mention something happening during their day that I’m really excited to hear about when they come home. Perhaps it might be looking at a new library book or hearing the song from their music lesson.
Arrive on time.
Children who are consistently late to school are often those who begin their day with some anxiety. As a teacher, it is very difficult to leave the whole class and settle an upset child once the school day has begun. Being part of the best morning routine is so important, so allow your child time to transition into the classroom and feel prepared to say goodbye to you before the bell rings.
Say goodbye quickly and cheerfully.
A short goodbye alleviates anxiety much more than one that is drawn out. If I know that a child in my class is struggling with saying goodbye in the morning, I’ll make sure that I’m there to help with a quick transition into the room. Usually, it’s a special job or activity for the child to get started on to help distract them from the feeling of anxiety when mum or dad leaves.
Create a tradition to share when you leave the classroom.
I’ve often suggested that parents leave a memento for anxious children to keep in their pocket. This can be a small photo, special item or note. They can take it out any time and remember that you’ll be back in the afternoon. That makes them look forward to the time you pick them up to hear about their happy day at school!
Lauren is a teacher, wife and mum of three children, aged 9, 6 and 1. She started her blog Love, Laughter and Learning in Prep in 2012 to share ideas and support other teachers wanting to make learning hands-on and engaging. Now with children herself, she combines her teaching and parenting experience to create resources that are developmentally appropriate and fun. When not busy in the classroom or at home, Lauren enjoys travelling, the beach and reading a good book.