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Readers Respond: How Do You Streamline Your Morning Routine?

Responses: 5

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Mornings are a "whatever works" time for parents of children with special needs, where getting everybody out the door on time and unstressed is the most important goal. Have you developed some good tips and tricks for making mornings manageable? Swap them here. Share Your Strategies

the dreaded schoolday mornings

My son dislikes school, always has. If he's amenable, we try to offer him some playtime if he gets up early enough, so he can start the day with some happiness. It worked for a while, but now he's focused on how dreadful school is and won't fall asleep. I don't know how to deal with that part of things, unfortunately.
—Guest sylrayj

check list

My daughter has Down syndrome, and is all about independence. The more there is someone telling her what to do, the longer it takes her. So I have a checklist made of velcro with pictures of the things she needs to get done in the morning. As she completes each one she pulls it off the chart. She LOVES this! I also have a clothing stacker with the days of the week. Sunday nights we put her clothes for the week in the stacker, so each day she gets up and her clothes are there and ready for her! This process, combined with my breakfast smoothie (above) she can be up and out the door in 20 minutes if need be. Most mornings it's 30-40 minutes. We do have those occasional hormonal mornings that drive all us moms crazy, but most of the time this system works fantastic!
—lespring

unsupervised time wastes time

I have many kids getting ready, but always one or two needing complete supervision, even up to the high school age, if we are to get out of the door. School mornings, I have the hair basket, the medicine tote, every article of clothing, under and outer, as well as backpacks packed with good snacks and signed class work and library books in the living room. Once out of the bed, they walk out of the bedroom and do not return that morning (for this or for that). If you have an issue with brushing teeth in the kitchen sink, like I did....overcome it. And since the invention of emailing teachers, most last minute requests from the child is a non event. Keeping the morning smooth as silk is the best way to send off a child stress free.
—Guest hope.rnch

Breakfast Smoothies!

Getting my daughter to eat breakfast is tough, but getting her to eat fruit is even tougher! I make smoothies using pediasure (which is a nutritionally complete meal, and what tube-fed children receive) Put it in the blender along with various fruit combinations. So if I use Chocolate pediasure, I might blend it with bananas. Or vanilla with pinapple, orange and banana, etc. She LOVES these, they go down quick, and they're highly nutritional.
—lespring

Cereal Shakes

We are ALWAYS running late in the mornings -- some later than others. I prefer my child to eat breakfast at home so I know they are eating and not just visiting. When we are really late, I take the bowl of cereal that they would normally eat and put it in our smoothie blender. I then add the cup of milk that they would also drink and blend. It goes in a cup with a straw attached and instant breakfast! Cocoa Puffs works really well this way, it's like chocolate milk only better. :)
—beekaycro

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How Do You Streamline Your Morning Routine?

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