4 Ways to Keep Busy School Mornings From Going Off the Rails

4 Ways to Keep Busy School Mornings From Going Off the Rails

A few tricks for getting the kids out the door with minimal aggravation.


By: Amy Oztan

Most of the time, weekday mornings in my house go smoothly. Sure, some of it is due to the fact that my 13-year-old son has to leave the house more than an hour before his 10-year-old sister, so there's none of that bickering that drives me crazy, but I also do a few specific things to help the morning flow.

1. All food decisions are made the night before. I have seen my daughter change her mind 10 times in five minutes about what she wants for breakfast or in her lunch box. It takes her forever to make up her mind about food. So, either she packs her lunch the night before and tells me what she wants for breakfast, or I get to make all the decisions. Period. She hates this -- she thinks I’m treating her like a baby -- but it works for me.

2. I don’t ban electronics before school. In fact, I encourage them. But TVs, video games, computers, and phones can only be used AFTER a child is ready to walk out the door. This is pretty much the only reason my son gets ready in the morning.

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More from P&G everyday:3. Each kid has a cubby. They’re in our front hallway, steps from the door, with a basket for loose stuff and a bigger space for backpacks and lunch boxes. If it gets dumped there when the kids get home, it’s still there when they leave for school. This has eliminated 99 percent of frantic morning searches.

4. Keys get attached to backpacks. The first week of middle school, my son lost three MetroCards. Not wanting this to happen to his house keys, I went to the hardware store and bought him a long key chain with a hook on one end and a key ring on the other. The hook is attached to his bag and he is never allowed to take it off, under penalty of banishment (or at least a stern lecture). He’s had the same set of keys for more than two years now without ever having to look for them, not even once. I wish I could say the same for my own keys.

Those are my best tips! What do you do to keep things moving smoothly in the morning?


Amy Oztan is the founder of Selfish Mom. She's a slow runner and a fast eater. When she's not on her laptop, she loves watching TV, singing, reading, gardening, and baking. Amy lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two kids, and cat.

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