I’m not gonna lie: the transition from two kids to three was a tough one. Trying to figure out a new little person on top of maintaining a sense of normalcy for the other two kidlets who’ve been around for awhile threw me in a way that I had not mentally prepared for. One big pet peeve I’ve always had was being late for anything. Ask The Husband; the quickest way to see me lose my cool is to make me late for something. It ain’t pretty.
I had to come up with some solutions ASAP to help keep things around my house in check. One idea that I came up with has been a life saver and it has made the difference in how I always get my kids to school on time. No joke — they haven’t been late once this year!
Simply put, I made my children, at 5 and 6 years old, in charge of themselves each morning. I implemented three very specific ideas to make the magic happen each morning: create a checklist, set a timer, and set a goal.
First up: create a checklist.
I knew that I had a list of tasks that Luke and Reagan needed to complete to be ready for school each morning. I started by writing a list each morning on a piece of paper for Luke and after a few days, that got tedious and seemed like a waste of paper (credit martinez). Reagan was getting jealous she didn’t have her own list and Sarah was making it tricky to write the list each morning, so it was time for a new plan of action.
Enter the re-usable Morning Routine Checklist:
I created two lists: one navy and one coral, which essentially breaks down to a boy version and a girl version. I printed and laminated them to ensure their extended use and gave each kidlet their own dry erase marker to use each morning. (If you’re looking for a Laminator, this one gets rave reviews!)
Can we pause for a moment and sing the praises of the glorious Dry Erase Marker? I can get my kids to do just about anything that involves one of those sweet little markers. Homework? Check. Follow directions? Check. Get chores done? Double check. Wrap a little washi tape around the base of each marker to alleviate any possible future fights over whose marker is whose. Trust me.
As the kids complete each task, they mark it off the list. Once all of the tasks are marked, they’re ready to head out to school. Seems easy enough, right? Almost. You need the two other components to make sure that all that glorious morning harmony actually happens.
Part two: set a timer.
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy; I use the timer on my microwave. Nothing special here!
Let your kidlets know up front how much time they have to complete all of the tasks on their checklist. It’s up to them to get everything done by the time that little clock dings. Sure, I still have to help Reagan tie her shoes and help Luke get his lunchbox down from the cabinet, but it’s their responsibility to ask for the assistance.
Part Three: Set a goal.
Luke and Reagan love getting to ride their scooters or bikes to school and when I say love, I mean love. The rule now is that they have to complete their entire Morning Routine Checklist before the timer goes off in order to get to ride their scooter or bike to school. Find what works for your family: extra iPad time, a few extra minutes playing outside after school, a special snack in their lunchbox, whatever appeals to them.
One morning just after I started this, Luke didn’t get his water bottle filled up and ready on time. He literally went over by a minute, but I held firm to what I had laid out. He spazzed out, cried, shouted at me, but when I remained calm and reminded him that he had plenty of time to get everything done and it was his choices that made him late, his argument fell flat. He didn’t get to ride his bike to school that day but he hasn’t been late one day since.
Because I love y’all so much, I decided to make the lists available for you to print and laminate for yourselves! If you have more than one boy or girl, make sure to write the names at the bottom of the list before you laminate them. I’ve also added some blank spaces at the end of each checklist so you can add any extra tasks that you’d like to have finished.
How I ALWAYS get my kids to school on time – Coral Checklist
How I ALWAYS get my kids to school on time – Navy Checklist
And now because I love you even more, here’s a preschool version complete with pictures!
There you have it! I’d love to hear if you have any additional helpful tips on how to ease the transition from two to three kiddos. We’re still trying to figure things out over here!
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