Guest Post by: Bebe Jacobs, SCIS parent for 4 years.
Summer is coming to an end. It is time to prepare for the coming school year and one of the bigger challenges is returning to a morning routine, without the extra yelling and hair pulling.
Fortunately, we have an expert to break it down for us on how to prepare a peaceful morning routine, no matter how big your family is.
Former Dragon parent, BeBe Jacobs, shares some tips and tricks to make sure you and your little ones are ready for school in no time!
I recognized that to build a stable house, I need a good and strong foundation. To have a strong foundation, I would need all the hands around me to build it. And if we wanted “our” house to be strong and stable, we would need everyone living under the house to roll up their sleeves and help build it. It is not just a house for me. It is a house for us.
I stepped back and approached it differently. I asked myself if I were at work and if this was a problem at work, how would I solve it? If something like this happened in the classroom, how would I approach it? It is a scheduling problem, after all, so how do you solve it?
- It is a scheduling problem.
- Who are the stakeholders: All four of us because it affects our moods when the morning goes awry.
- Who needs to stick to this: All four of us.
- Who does this need to work for: All of us, but mostly my kids. This was a powerful realization because finally, I realized that even though it affects all four of us in the morning, this needs to work best for my kids. It must be a schedule that works for them. It must be their schedule and not a schedule I designed for them. They need to create a schedule for themselves.
- Who needs to own this: My kids with two supportive parents.
- Morning tasks/steps: List out every step of the morning routine on a small card.
- What’s the sequence: Put these tasks in order of how they envision their morning would be from waking up… getting out of bed…right up until sitting down in front of their computer for their first class.
- How much time will it take to complete each task: For each morning step, ask how much time it will take to complete that task. Change clothes: my kids decided that it would take them 3 minutes to change clothes but if they laid out the clothes the night before, they would shave off 1 minute.
- Working Backwards: So, working backward from the first class — which starts at 9:00 am — minus minutes from each of their tasks to arrive at what time they would have to wake up and get out of bed. After we finished going through each task, assigning time for each, they were shocked that this all added up to a total of 54 minutes! Actually, it was surprising for all of us that it took almost an hour to run through our morning routine.
The first Monday that we applied this “Peaceful Morning Routine,” it went so smoothly that we all high-fived the kids before they ran up to class. It was so smooth and so peaceful. We all did our part to help, and the kids knew exactly what they needed to do — and it was helpful to see the time they needed to complete their tasks. If you are creating a schedule or a routine, a time factor must be attached to the schedule or a routine to make it work smoothly.
As we’re wrapping up our second week of applying this “Peaceful Morning Routine,” I find that the schedule would slip when we stayed up late, and it was harder to wake up in the morning. We needed to make sure that everyone was up. If I wanted my kids to be on this new schedule, I would still need to be there to help them move along — to be on schedule. On average, I read that it usually takes 2 months or more before a new behavior becomes a habit. The magic number is 66 days.
I am once again at my favorite spot at the dining table smelling a steaming cup of coffee, footsteps running away and up the staircase, my kids yelling back, “thanks for the Peace Offerings!” I smile knowing that they deserve the little reward, a delicious square piece of mint fudge cookie.
SCIS. Caring Community.