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Helpful Tips for Parents of Preschoolers

Aug 19, 2013

Developing a successful routine for the school year doesn’t just happen like magic-it takes a bit of creativity, basic planning and a few indispensable tools.  But the rewards are well worth it.  You can achieve more time for you and your child, fewer frantic mornings, and a happier mom. There are a few tips that will help you be a happier, more organized mom.

1. The first bit of advise is to remember that successful school days begin the night before. Therefore consistent and early bedtime routines are essential. Most 4-5 year olds should be in bed no later than 8:00p.m., and most need to be in bed even earlier. Healthy routines help children feel secure and build self-esteem.  Allow at least a half hour after dinner for reading to your children (or allowing him or her to listen to books on CD/tape if you will be leaving them with a sitter), quiet play time, brushing teeth, and saying goodnight to other family members.  Personalize the routine in a way that works for your child!

2. Second, lay out all clothes, even shoes and socks.  Involve children in these decisions if it’s important to them.  This preparation saves up to 10 minutes in the morning and avoids surprises, “I thought you washed my costume yesterday?" Make lunch/snacks the night before and use this opportunity to teach kids about healthy food choices carrots or celery? Grapes or an apple? Other smart lunch choices could be: gluten free pasta in disposable containers, mini plastic deli containers sold at Smart and Final.  Avoid pre-packaged ”kiddies” lunches (low nutritional value +high price=bad idea).  Review your own schedule to make your game plan for the morning easier, prehaps loud the car the night before with your essentials: stroller, diaper bag, briefcase, and dry cleaning. Also, try to clean up the kitchen right after dinner, or if necessary before you go to sleep so you avoid facing a morning mess before breakfast.  Some mom’s will find relief if they set the breakfast table the night before, or even prepare and portion out the dry cereal. 

3. Now for after school success we have to look at our preparedness. Can you arrange to pickup your child from school ON-TIME?  It is essential to remember your a child develops habits and learns lessons from their parents.  (Also gives them plenty of time to talk to you in the car without you many distractions)  Have non-messy snacks for children in the car if you live more than 10 minutes from school and empty backpacks each afternoon after school to avoid unpleasant evidence of old lunches. It is essential to look inside of your children backpacks daily!

4. Schedule homework time and family time for your child.  Make sure your child puts their homework away right after completing it, to avoid misplacing it.  Sit down for a healthy dinner with your children.  Offer a variety of foods, including soups, salads, lean meats, to discourage them from becoming too picky and only being willing to eat hot dogs and pizza.

5. Lastly, in the morning before school give an extra half hour for wake-up time, and a few minutes set aside just to walk out the door. The morning will feel less stressful if you pre-plan as much as possible the night before. 

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