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Handling the morning madness

By Charles Hopkins Published 06/2/2006 | Education

The best way to avoid the every day morning chaos and confusion is to follow an organized work schedule. Ideally, you should involve your entire family. This is not easy. There are always grumbles and excuses from the children who have been assigned minor tasks. Very often, you end up doing more than necessary, because a family member has let you down.

For starters, make a list of all the things that need to be taken care of on a daily basis. The events can be like packing lunchboxes, ironing clothes or waking up your child. Highlight the items that form your first priority. You can hang this as a chart in the kitchen so that it is always in front of your eyes. Tick the items so that you are aware of the things that are finished and those that are yet to be finished.

An alternative method for effective management is to divide duties among the family members. You can divide the duties according to each ones interest. This usually works well. The duties can range from clearing the dishes off the table to ironing clothes on their own. Handing over work to children instills confidence in them and also assures you that the work is finished on time.

Hang a duty chart that covers the duties on a weekly basis in the main hall where everybody can view the chart. Act as the manager and supervise the daily work. Praise your children for their effort and applaud them for the efficient way they are handling their tasks. The duties can also be rotated on a weekly or a monthly basis to avoid monotony.

Use a calendar to mark important dates and events. Use separate color pens for distinguishing each task. Do refrain from using many colors as it will only lead to confusion and ambiguity.

Ease the morning pressure by making sure that half the work like picking out the uniforms or packing up the backpack is finished in the night itself. In case you have to attend an important meeting in the morning, pack the lunches in foil paper and keep them in the refrigerator overnight.

Another thing to take care is to make sure that your child gets enough sleep in the night so that he wakes up fresh in the morning. The chances of a fresh and active child in handling his duties efficiently are far greater than a sleep deprived and lethargic child.

Have different drop boxes for each member of the family preferably placed near the main door. Efficient use of the drop boxes can drastically cut down the time spent daily in the morning searching for your bicycle or car keys. It can also be used for keeping your coats, umbrellas or shoes.

It is essential to review the way things are working out. Conduct family meetings at the end of each month and improvise your morning working plan. This will definitely make your mornings stress free, and fun.