Lay out clothes, food for smoother school-day mornings

Adams-Haddadin suggests planning ahead by thinking about what clothes children will want to wear the coming morning.  (Katie Moeller/KRCG 13)

September is Back To School Month, and experts say organizing essentials can make getting back into the academic routine a little easier.

In this week's Family First segment, KRCG 13 spoke with SSM Health Physician Advisor Lenora Adams-Haddadin about some tricks to help school mornings go a little more smoothly.

"Laying your kids' clothes out the night before is really helpful, you can just grab it quickly and go," she said. That's the first piece of advice Adams-Haddadin said she gives when it comes to staying organized during the school year.

But she also said pre-morning planning doesn't have to stop with clothes. It can also include having breakfasts and snacks ready ahead of time. "I try to get their breakfast and their food ready before I wake my kids up," she said." "So as soon as they wake up, I put their clothes on, and I say, ' OK, we're gonna go get food."

Adams-Haddadin said food can be a great motivator, especially if your child isn't a morning person. "Another challenge I think a lot of parents face is the moods of their children when they first wake up, because waking up is hard for a lot of people," she said. "So trying to create an environment for my children that makes them happy in the morning, it makes it a whole lot easier when you're trying to get them to do what they need to do to get out the door."

Sometimes though, Adams-Haddadin said kids still can just get up on the wrong side of the bed... no matter how much a parent might plan in advance.

"Even the best laid plans don't always work out they way you want them to," she said. "Sometimes, I think I did everything I needed to do to succeed today, and it's fallen apart in front of me."

When that happens, she suggested trying to take a deep breath, and telling yourself: "'This is not an emergency.' Keep a smile on your face and keep trying. It shows my kids that I'm going to love them no matter what they're doing, which I try to remind them of... I want them to know, 'I love you even when you're being naughty,'" she said.

Watch KRCG 13 at 5 p.m. next Friday for our next Family First episode - we'll talk to a social worker about the importance of teaching your kids to be a buddy, not a bully.

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