When the alarm bell rings early in the morning, do you jump out of the bed, brush your teeth, help your siblings get ready, eat your breakfast in a calm manner and then leave for school after waving goodbye to your mum with a smile?
Or are you one of those children, who bump, jostle and quarrel with your siblings because everything around you is in chaos? You can’t find your tie, your shoes have disappeared, permission forms are not signed, you don’t have time to eat breakfast because you are already late and you leave the house with your hair standing on end.
The way you start your morning can have a deep impact on the rest of your day. If you leave your home without your breakfast, with your nerves frazzled and half your books left behind on the study desk, you are not going to have a very good time in school. You will have a hard time concentrating on your studies and your bad mood might linger for the rest of the day.
And yet, it is observed that more and more children are having a hard time getting ready for school in an organised manner. Too many things are left for the last minute, making everything chaotic and disorderly.
If early morning hassles are leaving you in tears, your parents in a bad temper and your day in ruins, maybe it is time to see what is going wrong and how the situation can be remedied.
Too sleepy for school
Children need to go to bed early and get proper sleep. Doctors recommend that children between the ages of five and 12 need 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night. Though it can be very tempting to read books, watch movies, interact on social media or listen to the music till the wee hours of the morning, you will have a very hard time waking up for school. You will be tired and sleepy, develop headaches or feel lethargic throughout the day.
Sleep deficit affects your ability to pay attention in class as well as your performance in sports, tests and other school activities. In the long run, it can have an adverse effect on your eyesight as well. Going to bed at the same time each night helps your body get into a routine and makes it easier for you to get up at the same time each morning.
When things go disorderly
“I can’t find my things! Mum, where are my shoes? Have you seen my tie? Did you sign the form? The teacher told us to bring art supplies today!”
It can be very stressful for you and your parents if you have to go on a treasure hunt every morning before you leave for school. Make sure your shoes, belt, tie and other uniform accessories are properly placed. Pack your bags the night before. If you have any extracurricular classes like arts and crafts, music, karate or gym, make sure you have the required uniform and supplies.
If you are reading this, it means you are grown up enough to take care of your belongings rather than depending on your mum to explore the house for you.
Mum, why didn’t you wake me up?
This is an absolute no-no. Once you are old enough to go to school or at least old enough to read this article, you are old enough to have an alarm clock in your room. Don’t make your mum or dad come in your room 50 times while you snuggle in the pillow, ignoring all their efforts to get you out of the bed.
Every night, make sure your alarm clock is set to go off at the correct time. For added security, put your alarm clock across the room, far from the bed, so you have to get out of the bed to shut it off.
Do you think alarm clocks are so out of fashion? You can wake to your iPod music or favourite tune on your smart gadgets, but take responsibility of waking up by yourself.
I don’t need breakfast!
Sure you do! In the morning, your body needs to refuel for the day after going without food for eight to 12 hours during sleep. Skipping breakfast can make you feel tired, restless and grumpy, and your energy level can drop by midmorning. Missing breakfast can also make you crave junk food for lunch.
Even if you don’t want a large breakfast, try to eat at least a small meal before you leave your house, like a glass of milk or bowl of your favourite cereal. Talk to your parents about your preferences so that you do not refuse the meal your mother makes for you so early in the morning and then leave the stuff uneaten on the plate.
Bye, bye mum!
Don’t leave the house before you help her clean away the breakfast table and leave your room in a respectable condition. Many children leave their rooms looking as if a tsunami or a hurricane has hit the room, with wet towels on the floor, pillows crooked, and night wear and other stuff all over the room.
Wake up 10 minutes earlier than your normal routine and make some effort to help your parents in the household chores.
Many children go to school without brushing their teeth, either out of laziness or because they are short of time. This is not only harmful for your health, but your bad breath will make it uncomfortable for your friends to be around you and you will develop a yellowish tinge on your teeth.
So never skip brushing your teeth. It is good to develop a twice-a-day brushing habit, at night before going to bed and early in the morning.
Moreover, it is a good idea to have a shower early in the morning before you go to school, especially in the hot, summer days ahead. It will keep you fresh and energised, and also keep away body odour.
Make it a habit to iron your uniform and polish your shoes in the evening. This way if you have missing buttons, stains on the shirt or frayed shoe laces, you will have enough time to take care of them not have to worry about these things at the last moments.
Do not switch on the TV or your smart phone as soon as you crawl out of the bed. This will delay your preparation for school. Keep distractions to a minimum and just focus on getting ready and reaching the school on time.
Help your younger siblings in getting ready too. Remember, even if you are ready and they are not, everybody will still be late.
A wise person once said, “Lose an hour in the morning and you will spend all day looking for it.”
Establish a good early morning routine and leave your home with a smile and a wave. Have a great day!
Published in Dawn, Young World, May 6th, 2017