Children’s Tardiness

Dear Claudia,

I am having a lot of trouble in the morning getting my kids off to school. Actually, getting them out of bed is more of the problem. Seems like Saturday, when it comes time to watch cartoons, they have no problem getting out of bed. I’m at the point where I find I’m yelling all morning long, and by 9:00 am I’m exhausted. If I don’t yell though, nothing gets done. Any advice?

Tired of Yelling in Canton

Dear Tired of Yelling,

There are lots of techniques to make mornings less stressful, which include getting clothes ready for the next morning, putting the kids to bed sooner, establishing routines with reward systems and more. The only problem is that when you’re really stressed out, none of these strategies work.

If your plate is too full, even though I know you think you should be able to handle everything, you don’t have the strength or energy to prepare for the onset of the morning rush. You don’t have the patience to assist your children in their preparations. You don’t have the tolerance to negotiate the diversionary tactics that keep them from focusing on getting ready. You don’t have the emotional strength that inspires you to feel like you can manage effectively and efficiently.

At these times, your best course of action is twofold. First, breathe. Take a lot of deep breaths to comfort your agitation. Second, take away the time pressure by giving yourself permission to be late. Your children need to know that it’s more important for you to stay sane than it is to get anywhere on time. If need be, write the children’s teachers each a note explaining that the coming week my include some tardiness.

I think you will find that dealing with the stress will lead to a greater effectiveness. On some days, you will be able to prepare more the night before or move the children along in the morning more smoothly, without excessive frustration that puts you “over the top”. 

Signup for musings and news sent to your inbox

"*" indicates required fields

I am interested in:
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.