Hate the Morning Rush? 6 Tricks To Getting Everyone Out the Door Quicker

Sep 23, 2016

Feel like you’ve run a marathon by the time you’ve finally got your kids to school? Mornings, especially for working parents of school-age kids, can be one of the most daunting times of day. Here are some tips to beat the bell and get your pint-sized procrastinators to school on time, every time.

Banish All Screens

Stick the devices behind a cushion. Shove the remote under the bed. Do WHATEVER it takes to keep them away from all screens. If there’s one sure-fire way to keep kids from getting out the door, it’s letting them get absorbed in their favourite show or game. Need something to keep your sluggish offspring occupied while you get ready? Try drawing or any other activity they enjoy. Just make sure it's something that they can easily walk away from or take in the car or bus.

Host A Dance Party

Everybody in your household moving slowly? Try rocking out to your favourite tunes and just watch the pace change. Making breakfast and brushing teeth suddenly gets a whole lot more energized once when you add “Shake It Off” or whatever age-appropriate song that gets your tiny time-suck's toe’s a-tapping.

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Get Them Dressed The Night Before

Just kidding! You get dressed the night before. Ok, still kidding. But do take the time to get as prepared as possible in the evening. Pick out everyone’s clothes, find those shoes, pack the homework. However exhausted you may be, remember that "stress is less" at 8:30 p.m. than at 8:30 a.m.

Take Breakfast On the Road

Try eating breakfast while a gigantic person hovers over you and shouts "we’re going to be late!". It’s not the best way to enjoy the most important meal of the day. If you find your minor diners don’t have much of an appetite, pack them a meal to go. Not everyone is hungry when they first wake up, so pack those snacks for when stomachs start to growl.

A container with waffle sticks and a small tub of yogurt.

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Gamify The Clock

Playing games might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when that alarm goes off, but the kids will be up for it. So gamify your morning by challenging your slow pokes to game of "beat the clock." How about: "I bet you can’t get your socks on by 8:05!" Or, "I challenge you to comb your hair by 8:15." Prizes can include stars, stickers or a big-ticket items earned by scoring punctuality points over time.

Let Them Be Late

There I said it. Let the doddle-darlings experience the actual ramifications for not getting to school on time. You of course will also have to arrange your schedule to be late, but this learning moment might just be worth it. There’s nothing like doing the walk of shame to the office after the national anthem has finished to get the message that parents can’t and won’t save you every time.

Your morning may seem completely out of control, but look at the flip side: In the blink of an eye your slow-motion tots will fast forward to grabbing a piece of toast, the car keys and heading to college. So kick back and enjoy the ride. If thinking about that doesn't work, shake it off and try again tomorrow.

Article Author Laura Mullin
Laura Mullin

Read more from Laura here.

Laura Mullin is a published playwright and writer and the Co-Artistic Director of the award-winning company, Expect Theatre. She is also the Co-Host and Producer of PlayME, a podcast that transforms plays into audio dramas now on CBC. She has worked in theatre, film, and television and lives in Toronto with her writer/producer husband and pre-teen daughter. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @expectlaura.

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