Well the first day of school has come and gone. And with that went all the excitement that caused my daughters to be up and ready for school without any prompting. While they still enjoy going to school, getting them out the door started taking some combination of nagging, scolding, reminding, and of course rushing. It got to the point where even I was sick of listening to myself ask the same questions every day.
“Did you brush your teeth?”
“Did you make your bed?”
“Did you put your lunch in your backpack?”
I had to find a way to dial down my nag-o-meter! While I know that we all need to remind our kids to do things, too much nagging is just background noise. So being the Type A mommy that I am (for those of you Type B’s who go with the flow, that means I’m excessively organized and desperately rely on lists to get things done!) I decided to make my kids a morning “To Do” list. Yes, I even typed it. Okay, okay . . . in the interest of full disclosure, I even made two lists. An upstairs list and a downstairs list. (Can you say Type A+? Unfortunately, this is one time when an A+ isn’t such a good thing! But hey, it’s who I am and I’m trying to use it to my advantage to stop nagging.)
I put the upstairs list on their bulletin boards and the downstairs list on the fridge. Now they read what they need to do and my only question is “Did you do your list?” I guess technically, I should ask “Did you do your LISTS?” but you get the idea! Either way, I’m nagging, scolding, reminding and even rushing less. And that’s a good thing.
Such a good thing that, as a school counselor, I advise my parents to do something similar when they come to me saying their mornings are so stressful because they can’t get their kids in gear. For parents of children who aren’t reading yet, I provide a morning list with pictures. For parents who think I’m an organizational freak, you’re right, but it works!