A morning checklist

In the morning:

  • Make sure everyone is up on time. You may want to let the baby sleep until it's almost time to leave, but anyone who can help out in the morning needs to be awake. School-age children can use an alarm clock, if you teach them how. This can save you more time in the morning than you'd dare believe.
  • Make your bed. Put away pajamas. Tidy up the bedroom. These are things that each family member can do.
  • Make sure everyone eats breakfast -- you, too! If cold cereal is not your style, try frozen waffles or even the leftovers from last night's dinner. It is important to eat something healthful -- and it doesn't have to be traditional breakfast food.
  • Set the dishes to soak or stack them in the dishwasher. Family members who can walk can take their dishes to the sink.
  • Establish a morning hygiene routine for each family member. Hands and face need to be washed every morning. Hair and teeth need brushing. Older children and adults may use deodorant, make-up, etc. You may need to schedule bathroom time as children go through stages when they spend more time on grooming. Plan for it! Boys aren't much better than girls at this.
  • Make sure everyone is dressed properly. A parent may need to help in some cases.
  • Place lunches into book bags or on a counter so everyone will remember to take them. Hand them out as children go out the door.
  • Put on jackets, rain gear, hats and mittens or sweaters as appropriate for the weather.

As you go out the door, remember to make sure everyone has:

  • Lunch or lunch money
  • Appropriate outerwear (coats, rain gear, hats and mittens)
  • Book bags, diaper bags, brief cases and other necessities
  • Keys
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