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Morning Routines: Keep Tweens on Track

by YPI Editors | September 27th, 2016 | Seasonal, Tweens
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10-11-year-old-waiting-for-school-busTween years usually mark the start of middle school. Many middle schools have a start time that is earlier than elementary school, which equals an even earlier start to the day. Depending on your child’s sleep pattern, an earlier start also may equal a grouchier start. However, once the earlier start becomes routine, it will be easier.

By middle school, your tween’s morning routine should be established. He’s been following a school routine for many a year now, so it should be rote. Also, by this point, a lot of the routine should fall into your tween’s responsibility. Does he not like what’s being served for lunch? He should pack a lunch. Does he have a paper due today? He needs to pack that in his bag.

Although there are set routines, there can be glitches. We have a list of morning issues and solutions that have helped.

  • Missing the bus- It can happen, but that doesn’t mean it is acceptable. Our solution to that problem is simple. A parent gives the child a ride to school, plus the tween owes that parent a favor. The reason is this: the parent had to take time out of his morning to take the tween to school, now the tween will take time out of her afternoon to do something, such as vacuum the car or sweep the kitchen, to help the parent.
  • Getting up late- Do nothing. I know this is hard. But if your tween can be dressed and ready for the bus, there’s no need for there to be a consequence. Maybe he needs less time than you think. If he is late for the bus, then apply the above advice.
  • Morning outfit meltdown- “Nothing looks good.” We’ve all had those mornings. The best cure for those mornings is picking out her outfit the night before. In fact, I think my daughter enjoyed that. She’d spend 15 minutes looking in her closet and planning what she’d wear. Not a bad way to end the day and a very good way to insure a happier morning.
  • Sibling conflict- When there’s more than one child getting ready at the same time, planning is crucial, especially if a shared bathroom is involved. Set times: Child 1 gets the bathroom from 6:20-6:45. If they tend to bicker, be strategic. Encourage one to eat while the other is styling hair; less face time while waking can eliminate bickering.

During these years, be sure that your tween owns the responsibility of being ready for school on time. Although it’s tempting to help her so everything goes smoothly, this responsibility will give her confidence. And as she matures into a full-fledged teen you, too, will have confidence that she can handle new duties.

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