The new academic school year presents an opportunity for learners and parents to create new habits that could make the year a little easier.
For many families, the daily trip to school and back can be difficult – for children and adults alike!
Mornings can be rushed, stressful, and if not managed properly, could be a bad start to the day.
“With a few small changes and some forward planning, you can have a smooth school drop off… and you might even be able to squeeze in some enjoyable time for the whole family,” advises Barend Smit, marketing director of MotorHappy.
It all starts the night before
- Try to make sure all homework is complete and bags are packed the night before. This includes lunch when possible.
- Scrambling to iron a shirt or finding a lost shoe is not a fun way to start the day. Layout all the children’s clothing items neatly, from the tie to the socks.
- Put all the things your child is going to need next to the door. That way, they can grab everything as they walk out, rather than running around trying to find everything before they leave.
The morning of school
- Ban television, social media, and any other screens that might distract your child. Alternatively, let them have their screens as a reward once they are ready.
- As often as possible, give your child a nutritious and filling meal before leaving for school. Foods like cheese and toast, granola and yoghurt or scrambled egg are good options for rushed mornings. You can even prepare healthy breakfasts to eat on the go… do a Google search for a smoothie, egg muffin or overnight oats recipes.
- Try your best to be ready before they are. That way, you can help them get ready.
- Create a reward chart that outlines the order in which your child can quickly and efficiently complete tasks in the morning. Give your child a star every time they complete a task. You could even consider adding times to the reward chart.
On the way to school
- Whether you take your child to school in your car, or if they are part of a carpool, or if they catch a bus or a taxi, teach your children about vehicle safety. This way, they know they should buckle up as soon as they are seated, and not to fiddle with the doors and windows or distract the driver.
- Create a music playlist to brighten up the mood, to listen on your car stereo or through earphones. Feel-good music that will put a smile on your child’s face and set the tone for a good day ahead.
- If driving to school, do not park directly in front of the school gates. Not only will this block other drivers, but you could get in trouble with the school or traffic cops and earn a fine. Instead, make use of parking lots and drop off lanes. You could even park on a quieter street further away from school. The walk to school may be longer, but it makes drop-off easier.
“When it comes to school drop off, one of your most important considerations is vehicle safety. Ensure your car is in good running order by keeping up to date with recommended car service intervals and vehicle maintenance,” concludes Smit.