No More Struggles In Getting Ready For School

I had been having trouble getting my 7-year-old to get ready for school in the morning. It often ended with yelling or rushing chaotically out the door. It seemed like no matter how early we woke up he still dragged through the morning and we would still be late to school. We ended up mad at each other and he ended up with a rotten start to a day that he wasn’t much looking forward to in the first place.

I started hearing “I hate school,” and “I’m not going!” more frequently. I knew I had to do something differently. I read in the Parenting by Connection Newsletter about having 5 minutes of Special Time with a child when he first wakes up to help him reconnect.

I was really bent on him getting dressed, fed, teeth brushed, shoes on, etc. before we played. But since it wasn’t working anyway I thought I may as well try it. I let him know right before bed each night that we would do five minutes as soon as he woke up. He was so excited. He started hopping out of bed and it made a huge difference in how much happier we both were before school. Much of the time we were still late but at least we weren’t fighting. What an improvement that was!

We did that for a few weeks and he was really wanting to play longer. I told him that he could play as much as he wanted as long as he was ready for school first. So we decided to switch back to getting everything done first. Now we snuggle in bed for a few minutes then he hops up and gets ready and we often have 10 to 25 minutes to run around outside and get some good exercise.

I think the 5-minute Special Time helped him to make the transition. We usually play jump rope, and sometimes his neighbor friend even comes over to play tag with us for a few minutes. He is more energized when he goes off to school. He is complaining less about school. Morning time is pleasant now. I think we both actually look forward to it. He talks about school stuff while he’s jumping rope that he wouldn’t usually tell me.

I think it’s really true that for boys, physical engagement helps them open up. I also feel better that, as he goes off to school to sit for 7 hours with only ½ hour recess time, he at least got that little stretch of time getting his body moving first thing in the morning. And when mama’s less worried, everyone’s life is better around here!

Messy Loud Real-Life ParentingDo you want more suggestions on how to use Special Time? Check out our free video series. In the first video, you’ll get a step by step guide to using Special Time and some fun examples of what it can look like. Get your videos now.


Kirsten Nottleson-Certified Instructor Kirsten Nottleson

2 thoughts on “No More Struggles In Getting Ready For School”

  1. I completely understand the logic behind this, and also completely agree that it is a fab idea, likely to have amazing positive effects.

    The problem for me is, I have four children. Three i need to get to school and one to preschool. Suggestions like the above are something i would have done with my first child, in fact i did. But as time has gone on and more children have arrived things like this are just not possible. I need to get four children ready and out and me to work, there is not enough time as it is.

    I don’t want to sound negative, but i find so many useful parenting ideas, but often feel they are not always possible if you have more than one child. For example, Special Time. I wold love to offer uninterrupted special time to each of my children every day and i KNOW it would have huge benefits. However, i find myself feeling quite down and guilty that this is just not possible for me. I am with all of my children all the time (unless they are at school) I don’t have family nearby and do not have anyone who can look after my other three children while i offer special time to the other child. As much i would love to be able to!! Sometimes i feel as if, I’m not able to give them what they need as i can’t ignore one for the other and i can’t split myself into pieces either.

    Ideas for parents with multiple children/large families would be highly valued. Our children gain huge positives from being part of large families, but i do feel guilty or that they are at times missing out on being part of ideas that would benefit them, if they didn’t have multiple siblings.

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