It’s never an easy task to get your children up and ready in the morning.  There’s always so much to do and so much to get ready before they’re actually prepared to head to the bus stop or get in your car.  Some mornings it seems like you will never get them out the door.  But a few simple tricks can greatly improve your get-ready success.

Evening Prep:  You’d be amazed at just how much you can do to get ready for school the night before.  Children can lay out their clothes for the next day to eliminate tough decisions in the a.m.  Lunches can be packed and stowed in the fridge.  Give your kids a place to hang their jackets and backpacks every night so they don’t have to frantically search for them, and make sure they have all their homework done and ready to go before they hit the hay.

Keep a Schedule:  It can be nice to spend a little extra time with your children and let them stay up later on weekends or during summer break.  Unfortunately, this makes it that much more difficult to get them back onto a weekday schedule.  To make it easier on all of you, don’t deviate more than an hour from their normal bedtimes.  If they’ve gotten into a different summer schedule, work them back toward a school-oriented one starting a few weeks before they’re due to go back.

Motivation:  It can be difficult for kids to understand just how slowly they are moving, especially if they’re not quite awake yet.  Encourage them to hurry up with the promise of television time or a quick game of Go Fish if they get ready before their allotted time is up.

Leave Nothing for the Last Minute:  A quick route to a frustrating day is to leave things for the last minute.  When your child gets his sub or pizza-day calendar for the semester, have him go ahead and decide which days he’s participating.  If your daughter brings home a permission slip, sign it immediately and put it back in their folder or backpack.  If they have a large model to prepare, give yourselves extra days or weeks.  All of the little things add up to a lot of work when you’re trying to leave the house, so make sure to address them as early as possible.

Plenty of Sleep:  Most kids never want to go to bed on time, but it’s extremely important that they do.  Children who haven’t had enough shuteye will be difficult to wake up in the morning, and they may even fall asleep in class or on the bus.  According to Caring for Kids, school aged children require ten to twelve hours of sleep per night.

You can avoid morning arguments and annoyances with a little planning and preparation.  Your mornings can be a pleasant thing if you don’t procrastinate and tackle decisions as early as possible.  Though your children may not always be interested in preparing for school the night before or going to bed on time, in the long run they will thank you.