Thursday, August 23, 2007

Minimizing Tomorrow's Struggle

Morning stress can be compounded by making more decisions than we need to for our kids. One tip from Los Ninos En Su Casa (aka A Place of Our Own) on PBS is to make some decisions with your child the night before.

  • Select a shoe box, plastic box, etc. big enough to put pants, top, shoes, etc.
  • Have your child decorate the box to make it his/her own.
  • The night before, help your child select the next day's outfit. For example, sit down Monday night to help him pick out Tuesday's clothes.

You could do this with breakfast too. Choose tomorrow's breakfast the night before. Put it on a shelf or in the fridge with a label for that particular day. You could also do this with lunch, if applicable. This would also be a good idea if you're changing caregivers (for example, parent to nanny).

Consider the possibilities!

You've potentially eliminated a couple of things to worry about in the morning. Here, we're not at the point of arguing about what to wear in the morning, but I've heard stories...and they're not pretty. Using this strategy, this should (might) take the morning struggle out of dressing and eating since your child actively participated in choosing the clothes and food.

Kids are offered such few opportunities to make decisions that this independence generates feelings that his/her opinions are valued and helps boost their self-esteem. But it's nice to know that parents don't have to suffer to this end :-)