How was your morning today? How many times did you say, “Put your shirt on”? Or “Brush your teeth. We need to be in the car?” Forty-leven times? Yeah, that sounds familiar. Just call me the morning NAG around our place. But that all changed, recently.
I have gotten so tired of my morning being a constant struggle. I worry about being late. MJ worries about needing to lay on my bathroom rug for another 10 minutes. I nag her to get dressed, get her hair brushed, get her teeth brushed, etc., etc., while she whines that she is too tired and needs to sleep longer. Yes, I have tried earlier bedtimes. It doesn’t seem to matter. She’s just not a “morning person.” She takes a long time to wake up in the morning. And she’s NEVER in a hurry!
Enter, the checklist…
I have used checklists in the past. I remember using them some with my two older kiddos, but it was more for chores and things. But hey, why not give it a shot?! So I sat down on dear, old Microsoft Publisher and put together a table and adjusted it to the perfect size. I then went to the clip art files and found the pictures to represent the tasks that MJ needs to complete each morning.
I chose a picture of several items of clothing to represent her choosing her clothes for the day. Then there is a picture of a bow to represent the choosing of her hair bow. She does have the option of completing these two tasks before she goes to bed the night before. The third picture is of a shirt to show her that she needs to put her shirt on. Then there is a picture of pants and a skirt to remind her to put on her bottoms. The fifth picture is of socks and shoes, so she puts those on. The final two pictures are of a toothbrush and a hairbrush, so she knows to complete these tasks.
When I showed this chart to MJ, her eyes lit up. She was so excited and wanted to hear all about what we were going to do. I sat her down and explained what task each picture represented. I told her if she got up, looked at the chart, and completed the tasks without being told, she could put a check mark next to that picture. And I explained that if she had to be told to do a task, I would put an x next to that task. Each day that she has only check marks, she gets to put a star on the date.
If, at the end of the month, she has over 15 stars (or whatever number), she gets a special treat. She can go pick out a small toy, some candy, go to a movie, go get ice cream, etc. Her choice, within reason.
Let me say that my mornings during the month of September have been (insert sing songy voice) FABULOUS! The peace that reigns in my bathroom every weekday morning is BLISS. I am less stressed. Probably she is too, and my hubby who has had to hear the nagging every morning. We are in a better mood when we get to school. We have more smiles and less frowns/pouty faces. I have been amazed. Try it; you’ll LIKE it!
I’ll even give you your own printable chart. Just fill in the dates at the top of each table and off you’ll go.