Reduce stress by making a get-ready-for school checklist for your kids

janes-to-do-list.jpg

Before I made this Morning To-Do checklist for my second-grade daughter, the following things happened on more than one occasion:

1. My daughter would get into the car without shoes or socks (this happens more often in warm weather) and I would drive halfway to school before she told me.

2. I would get all the way to the school and find out she forgot her homework folder, her lunch, or her backpack and I would have to drive back and get the missing item.

3. I would take her to school on a cold day and realize she didn't have a coat or sweater.

4. My wife would ask me if I was crazy for taking our daughter to school with hair that looked like a rat's nest.

I finally made this checklist and printed out a fat stack, clipped them together with a binder clip, and put them on the kitchen cupboard. It took about a week for us to remember to use the checklist every morning, but then it became automatic. Now every morning, the first thing Jane does is grab a fresh checklist and start doing the activities, checking them off as a completes them. It's a game for her and she likes it. We've been doing this for about five months and it's reduced a lot of stress from our morning routine.

evening-list.jpg (I also made an Evening To-Do list but we have not been able to make it a habit like we did with the Morning checklist.)