Really excited to be working with General Mills today to talk about how we’re getting ready for the FIRST year we’ll have 2 kids in elementary school, and how we’re hoping to keep chaos to a minimum.
The morning rush before school can get loud and panicked at our house real fast, and that was with only ONE child to get out our door and into the school doors by 7:25 am every day. (Yeah, I’m still bitter about that super early start time.)
Honestly, I’m really scared of how it’s going to be with two of them this year. I don’t want the new normal to be sending them both off to a full day of learning after we all yell at each other and run around trying to find what we need.
Mornings are going to have to change, and mostly that means that Kendall (8 years old, going into 3rd grade) is going to have to step it up and be more self sufficient. He’s 100% capable of doing this.
I think so much of his success will depend on how well we empower him, so we’ve got a three-step morning routine that we’ve laid out for him, and we’re doing everything we can to make it an easy transition.
1. Pick Your Clothes, Dress Yourself
Yes, my 8 year old son will still gladly let me pick out his clothes for him. And this is great sometimes, except when he relies on it. What will be even better is if he can choose what he wants to wear the day before, and then set it out so it’s ready to go.
How we’re supporting him: We hang outfits- shirts and shorts/pants – together on the same hanger so he just has to grab a hanger of clothes and he’s good to go. We also provide the kids a single place in the house where shoes (are supposed to) go, hopefully eliminating the frustrating shoe search. We call it the shoe closet, it’s downstairs under our staircase, and yes, it smells awful.
2. Wake To An Alarm
Probably the BIGGEST change is we’re going to expect him to wake to an alarm clock (and not one he calls mom or dad), get those clothes on, and get downstairs in a reasonable amount of time. We’re simply not going to have the time to micromanage two kids in the morning, especially once baby #4 gets here in December.
How we’re supporting him: Luckily, he seems to be buying my story about how the alarm clock is a huge right of passage and totally equals growing up. For now. We also bought him a basic, easy to use alarm clock with no extra features and big numbers. May possibly move it across the room depending on how quick he figures out the snooze button.
3. Make Your Breakfast, And Help Your Sister Make Her’s Too
Breakfast is not our favorite meal of the day around here. I don’t make hot breakfasts for the kids, and they don’t ask for them. It must be genetic because I have never enjoyed bacon & eggs for breakfast. BUT we do recognize that it’s a very important meal, especially for kids, and we always make sure the kids eat before they go to school.
We love keeping General Mills Cereal in the pantry. I don’t feel any guilt over my kids’ first meal of the day being cereal because kids who eat cereal are more likely to meet daily requirements for key nutrients, and it’s the number one source of vitamin D and calcium.
I am also mega impressed that their Big G cereals contain more whole grain than any other ingredient, and by how hard General Mills is working to remove artificial flavors and colors from artificial sources from their cereals.
“Cinnamon toast crunch uses real cinnamon, Cocoa Puffs & Reese’s Puffs use real cocoa, and Honey Nut Cheerios uses real honey for flavor. For color, Trix and Fruity Cheerios use extract from blueberries, purple carrots, and turmeric.” – General Mills
Plus? Kendall can TOTALLY get a couple bowls, spoons, boxes of cereal, and milk out, and make his sister and himself some breakfast, which is going to be immensely helpful mornings I’m stuck on the couch breastfeeding a newborn and finding the toddler’s favorite Netflix show while their dad is out of town.
How we’re supporting him: We always let the kids each pick out their own favorite box of cereal, and now we’re keeping them in the pantry on a shelf that is within their reach. We also moved some cereal bowls and spoons right next to them.
We’re hopeful Kendall will embrace these three steps quickly, and not only will our mornings be easier because of it, but he’ll feel proud of himself. It’s a little daunting to take that leap where you go from doing everything for your kid (I mean, last year I put his socks and shoes on him while he ate the bowl of cereal I poured him) to expecting them to do it themselves. I think I need to get out of our way here, though. He’s got this.
Big thanks to General Mills for sponsoring this post, and also for making a breakfast option that makes my life so much easier with no guilt attached.