Get the Kids Ready & Out the Door … with Less Nagging

Like many families, we have a lot going on every morning. My husband leaves for work by 6:45 am. I also get up early to work at my desk, then I spend from 6 to 8 am getting our daughters out the door, before getting back to work. Several years ago, after persistent reminders to our daughters regarding what they had to do to get out the door every morning, we decided we needed a change.

img_7319We leveraged Thomas Gordon’s conflict resolution method based on his book, Parent Effectiveness Training, to brainstorm a solution. As a family, we agreed that posting a checklist on the fridge door would help the girls remember what their individual family responsibilities every morning. To make this happen, we brainstormed everything our daughters each need to do before they leave the house from the time they wake up until they walk out the door. We decided what was most critical (brush my teeth), as well as what was fun but not critical (knit one row of scarf).

Once we finalized our morning to-do list, our younger daughter created the master list for our fridge. We laminated it and put it on the fridge for all to see . Our older daughter glances at it for reference, and our younger daughter frequently uses a dry-erase marker to check off what she’s done every morning. They both use it in the way that works best for them. And it’s completely changed our morning routine!

One of the main reasons this solution works so well is that we brainstormed this solution as a family, so we are all bought in. The results? I’m no longer nagging, and our girls are empowered to do what needs to be done in their own time every morning.

Does it work perfectly? Of course not, but we’re a lot better off then when we started!

Do you have a morning routine? What works and what doesn’t with your kids? Leave a comment below and let’s get the conversation started!

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Header Image: Pencils © Worthy of Elegance

About Sarah Stockwell

Sarah has been informally helping her family and friends organize their closets and kitchens for years. A co-worker once said “Sarah’s never met a spreadsheet she didn’t love.” As a strong J on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality assessment, Sarah feels most comfortable and at peace when her outside world is organized, decisions have been made, and her surroundings are structured. Sarah’s thrilled to have found professional organizing as a way to leverage her innate personality type. Sarah is currently being trained through the Living Peace Apprentice Program, and also lectures part-time at Tufts University in career development seminars. Sarah brings 18 years of human resources experience in the private and educational sectors where she specialized in training and development. Her expertise includes content development and facilitation of workshops in career development, leadership, coaching, communication, time management, presentation, and problem-solving skills. Sarah has lived and worked abroad in Hong Kong, France, Italy, The Netherlands, and China where she enjoyed learning about diverse cultures and ways of organizing.

Sarah lives in Arlington, MA with her husband, two daughters, and two cats. She’s an active volunteer in her local community – Arlington Education Foundation board member, Parent Teacher Organization co-president, and pastor search committee co-chair. In her free time, Sarah loves exercising outdoors, doing yoga, cooking and baking for friends and family, reading the New York Times style section, and playing family board games. Sarah recently completed her first sprint triathalon.

1 comment on “Get the Kids Ready & Out the Door … with Less Nagging

  1. Pingback: Organizing Kids: Teach Your Kids to Make their Own School Lunch

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