I need a morning routine & strategy for my dawdler - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 09-07-2010, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter, age 5 (turning 6 in 2 months), will be starting kindergarten in one week. Her only school experiences so far have been one year of preschool for 2 mornings a week, then another year of preschool (same school) for 3 mornings a week. That school started at 10:00, and even for my night owl it wasn't too bad getting her to school (though we were frequently late and rushed in the mornings).

So, she is not an up-and-at-'em type of kid. She has not had experience getting up at the same time 5 days a week, getting dressed, out the door, etc. School hasn't even started yet and she is already complaining that she'll have to get up and get dressed in a timely fashion each day. I am anticipating a struggle once the novelty of kindergarten wears off. I am dreading how our mornings might go--her dragging her feet, saying she doesn't want to go to school, me begging her to hurry up and then getting frustrated and unpleasant.

Has anyone dealt with this? I really don't want our mornings to be a struggle. We have been doing pretty well at getting on "school time"--going to bed and getting up at the times she will need to for school. But what can I do when the dawdling and "I don't waaaant to go to school" stuff kicks in?
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#2 of 10 Old 09-07-2010, 05:26 PM
 
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Oh...I know this story well. DD has actually been going to Montessori since she was two...but two years later...we're still dealing with dawdling!

I have a very strict routine in the morning. First, I pack lunches at night so I don't have to deal with that in the morning. I get up around 6 am, get ready, prepare backpacks, get dressed. I turn on "Little Bill" at 7 am and transfer DD to the couch. There, I get her dressed. After Little Bill is over, she potties, puts on her helmut for her scooter, and we are out the door. I have a breakfast for her in my bag and we eat it on the way. By the time we get to school, she is all talk. While she resists it at various stages along the way...the routine is critical.

I know this sounds incredibly boring, but it is what works for us. I've made a very tight window of time in the morning because DD doesn't go to bed until 10:30 pm at night, and I try to maximize her sleep. I was never a morning person but my dad always got me up at 4 am to run! I'm not bitter.

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#3 of 10 Old 09-07-2010, 05:43 PM
 
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In our world it's SHOES more than anything. The only thing that works is - up - potty - dressed and then the rest takes care of itself. They will be peeing while I gather their clothes (woohoo to uniforms in public school) and the minute they wash their hands I hand the 6 year old her clothes and I dress the 3 year old. And shoes MUST go on next.

In our case it's inertia that is the key. Once you GET up, you keep moving until you are ready COMPLETELY. THEN breakfast. and out.

It's almost a conveyor belt. TV impedes the process so the "morning show" of the summer turns into the "when your homework is done" special event once in a while.
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#4 of 10 Old 09-07-2010, 06:11 PM
 
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My son loves breakfast, so for us, rearranging our morning routine so breakfast was the last thing he did before he walked out the door worked. Before that, he'd dawdle and I'd nag. Now he has to get dressed and brush his teeth before breakfast is served (and I do realize that brushing teeth before eating is not the best option, but it works for us for now). We had one REALLY bad day after I changed our routine. After that, it worked great!
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#5 of 10 Old 09-07-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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Though I insist that DS dresses himself and takes care of personal care on weekends and holidays (so that he develops those skills,) on schooldays I just take over.

I get up and get myself ready (if DS wakes up b/c I'm making noise, that's OK.) Then I just start dressing him. He often wakes up when I get to the shirt, but not always. I then pick him up and grab his bunny and take him to the bathroom, where I prop him up some where to brush his teeth (non-fluoride paste so rinsing is optional.) It's actually easier to comb his hair if he is still asleep than if he wakes up. I then carry him to the door, where I gather up my bags and put on my shoes. DS is usually awake at this point to put on his shoes, but if he is still sleeping, I just put his shoes in a plastic bag. We then go to the car. Usually he is awake by the time I strap him into his seat, so I give him his breakfast (it's a long drive.) However, if he is still asleep, I will just get going. Hopefully, he is awake and fed by the time we get to school, but if he's not, I just wake him up when we get there and try to get him to a eat a little as fast as possible, while I put his shoes on him.

If he is awake and really grouchy and difficult about letting me dress him, he goes to school in his PJs.

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#6 of 10 Old 09-07-2010, 08:54 PM
 
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first of all without sounding too insincere focus on the pluses of school if she is complaining. can you go to the school's website and find something seh might like. like a specific playground or mascot or anything. i notice with my dd at that age it really made a difference my attitude.

for us no tv. we dont do tv in the morning at all. esp. in K. i also had a strict going to bed in the evening schedule. and i made sure dd got up early. she was not a get up and go kid. she needs to 'vegetate' for a little while.

the other thing i have done is wake her gently and cuddle and then start the day. sometimes if we made it early enough we'd stop at her favourite coffee or bagel store and get a little treat there before going to school.

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#7 of 10 Old 09-08-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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Practice this week! Oh, sorry...you've been doing that.

Hopefully, the fun of school will outweigh the not fun of waking up more quickly than she likes. Like others, I'm not above dressing dd1 as if she were a much younger child, just to get her going. I do recommend being completely dressed before even leaving the bedroom. Yes to NO television. Usually she pottys while I get a little breakfast going. Build in a cushion. I have us in the car and out the door a full 10- (maybe)15 minutes before we really have to. When she's at school before the bell rings, she can play on the playground. When we're running late, we're still on time.

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#8 of 10 Old 09-08-2010, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies. She has done great at waking up at the time she will need to for school, but we have not practiced actually getting her dressed quickly. When she was in preschool, I did a lot of dressing her while she was still waking up, then carrying her out to the car. Not sure how long I could keep that up for kindergarten, though!

I think I will need to come up with the incentive that will get her up and out the door. Since school hasn't started yet, I really don't know what about it she will look forward to. Knowing her, it's probably friends. So I'll have to wait on that one until I know who her friends will be. She made good friends at preschool, and was often the last one to leave (!) when it was time to go home. So, I know she likes school. It's just the getting going that she dislikes. (Me too, personally, but I try not to let my lack of get-up-and-go rub off on her!)
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#9 of 10 Old 09-09-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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I asked this very question in Gentle Discipline, when DD dawdles I get angry so we're working on finessing the morning routine:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...3#post15824653

Good luck!!

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#10 of 10 Old 09-09-2010, 08:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bartleby View Post
Thanks for the replies. She has done great at waking up at the time she will need to for school, but we have not practiced actually getting her dressed quickly. When she was in preschool, I did a lot of dressing her while she was still waking up, then carrying her out to the car. Not sure how long I could keep that up for kindergarten, though!
My son is in 1st and I still dress him sometimes. If he is having a dawdly morning I ask him if he would like help getting dressed.

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