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November 05, 2015


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Any suggestions for those who don't have to be out the door? Without continuous prompting, my 7yo (the oldest) would sit in her bed for an hour not getting dressed. We homeschool, so there's no external deadline. Not getting breakfast is not sufficient motivation, and the morning is much more pleasant if she eats. I haven't yet figured out how to move this off my plate and onto hers, as the only consequence is mom gets mad.

Ohhh, I love you for actually posting this, especially your whiteboard. I think that is a conversation we need to have, me and my 7-y-o. As you knew. ;)

This week I've given her a timer and she enjoys setting it for "10 minutes to get dressed," and "3 minutes to put on shoes." She does have a skewed impression of how long these things should take, and dawdles a bit choosing which alarm ringtone she wants (!), but it feels like some independence for her and might work (I'm scared to sepculate).

Her bugaboo is not wanting to BE alone - you mentioned Stella saying this, too, and it relieved me - and mine is staying with her patiently until she's finished. When I try to gently talk her through tasks or steps to keep things moving (and I really do try to be gentle), she is less than receptive ("I KNOW! I'M GOING!"), which is... wearing.

There is definitely a bit of sleep deficit going on, as well. So, lots to work on. But I'm really, really grateful for your suggestions. xo It's good to have friends. :)

Our out-the-door routine relied on two things: 1) Getting as much done before bed the night before 2) absolutely not allowing breakfast until the child was dressed with shoes on.

We would get backpacks and clothes picked out the night before. My husband would make their lunches so that wasn't on their agenda. They had an alarm and we would also check to make sure they were up. They had to be dressed with shoes on before eating breakfast. If they dawdled too long and missed breakfast, well tough. If they dawdled too long, got breakfast, but missed brushing teeth or brushing hair, well tough. It's time to leave when it's time to leave and there you go.

Michelle, one idea would be to create some fun external deadlines if that works with your homeschooling plans-- a library activity that starts at 9 sharp, morning swim lessons, etc.

It's also reasonable to have an internal deadline. If you plan some motivating stuff for the first couple of weeks, it might break the lounging habit-- there will be muffins for breakfast at x time, and yours won't be hot enough to melt the butter if you dawdle. Or there will be a reading of the next chapter of Half Magic at x:00, and you'll be bummed if you miss the beginning.

A third option is to embrace the flexibility that homeschooling affords you. What if you had a day or two when it was fine to read in bed, as long as you ate breakfast before x:00?

Maybe Melanie or Bearing or someone else will have ideas too...

Thanks, Jamie! You've given me more to think about. The most successful thing recently has been getting her up earlier. Starting the dawdling a half hour earlier and letting the routine take the two hours it naturally takes is much easier on me (and my husband who usually feeds them breakfast). I do like the treat for breakfast idea, and if I'm up early enough I could even pull it off.

(two hours! How does it take two hours to get dressed, eat breakfast, and empty the dishwasher???)

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