Back-to-School Tips for Parents: How to Simplify Your Morning Routine

August 10, 2023

The lazy days of summer are drawing to a close, and the rush of the new school year is upon us! Unfortunately, the fun and excitement that comes with heading back to school also brings with it some hectic mornings as everyone tries to get ready before the bus pulls away from the curb. For busy parents and their school-aged children, every minute counts in the morning. If you’re scratching your head, trying to figure out how to simplify your morning routine, fear not! We’ve gathered some of the top back to school tips for parents to help you out! Let’s get started!

Back to School Tips for Parents

Create a Family Pick-Up and Drop Zone: Backpacks, shoes, umbrellas and raincoats—so many things go to and from school, only to get shaken off as soon as the kids walk through the door. Make sure you designate a space in your home as a landing zone for these items. This can help prevent last-minute searches for that missing shoe or backpack. A “drop zone” between the garage and kitchen is a perfect spot to keep coat racks, cubbies, and more to help everything stay organized.

Print a Checklist: It can be easy for younger children to become distracted or overwhelmed by all the little tasks that make up the morning routine. That’s where a printed checklist comes in handy! You can keep it on the back of the bedroom door, on the mirror in the bathroom, or on the refrigerator in the kitchen, and it can remind them to do things like brush their teeth, eat breakfast, pick up their lunch, and so on. Plus, it’ll help you remember, too!

Prepare the Night Before: You can do a lot of things in the evenings that will help make your mornings more pleasant and less hectic! This includes packing lunches for the kids (and yourself), setting the breakfast table in advance, or having the kids lay out their school clothes so they’re ready to jump into them first thing in the morning.

Set Alarms (and Backup Alarms): The first step in a successful morning is making sure that everybody gets out of bed on time—yourself included. Letting older children have their own alarm clock can help to foster a sense of responsibility and independence. Since the snooze button is also within arm’s reach, however, it might be a good idea to set a back-up alarm on your own smartphone while you’re at it. Many phones allow you to set multiple alarms, so this won’t necessarily conflict with your own alarms (and back-up alarms) and can help you to make sure each kid is up and about when they should be.

Give Tasks to Older Children: If you have multiple children, it can be useful to assign specific morning tasks to the older ones. This can not only make your morning run more smoothly but can also help your kids develop responsibility as they help their younger siblings get ready for school.

Eliminate Morning Choices: Every choice that you have to make takes time and uses up some of your mental real estate. You can help your mornings go faster and better by limiting the decisions you’ll have in front of you. This can include preparing simple yet nutritious breakfasts in advance or having a set breakfast menu that you go to each day.

Limit Screen Time: We get it. The kids love their screens. Heck, we love them, too! But screens can also be a big distraction, and it’s way too easy to get sucked in and lose track of time. Try making mornings a “no screens” time, at least until everyone is fully dressed and ready to start their day.

Give Positive Reinforcement: Don’t forget to praise your kids when they’re ready on time, and let them know how proud you are of them. A few kind words can go a long way toward ensuring smooth morning routines in the future. For younger children, a reward system can also help provide focus and motivation.

Hopefully, these back to school tips for parents have provided at least a little help if you’re trying to figure out how to simplify your morning routine. With any luck, these tips will help make mornings less stressful and more productive for you and your kids! A better morning means a better start to the day, which means more opportunities to learn and grow as all the young learners—and their families—at Candela head into a great new school year filled with fun, friendship, and adventure!

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