Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Secret To Having Family Breakfast

I am sure your home does not sound like this on school mornings, but some homes do (or did!)

If you have even one of those things get in the way of having a family breakfast or even a parent with a child at breakfast (however short that time may be), you should know that there is One Secret to solving these hindrances.

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It's so easy, you might have thought of it, or maybe it's so easy that it hadn't occurred to you. But it is only three words. Curious?

Here's the Secret:

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Really, it's that simple.

With elementary school children:
The night before go through your children's backpacks and check to see if there are any notices, especially ones you might have to sign. (I know, they seem to always get lost, don't they? I wrote my share of "homemade" permission slips in my day.)

The night before check their homework agenda and find out what homework they have, make sure it is done, and that they have it in their folder, notebook, or backpack. (My husband was good at this one.)

The night before take a look at the school schedule--do they need anything special, like gym clothes? Make sure that is in their bags. 

The night before help them pick out appropriate clothes for school, including socks, unmentionables, shoes, and adornments (like earrings or barrettes). (This was easier for us as our kids wore a school uniform most of the years they were in school.) Lay these on a chair near their beds so they have them at hand.

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The night before help them make sure their alarm clock is set to get them out of bed in time. Discuss with them how much time they think they need--you should revisit this discussion from time to time. (We failed in this one and were always our kids' alarm clocks, but somehow, they learned anyway.)

The night before make their lunches. Have them all packed and in the fridge so all you have to do in the morning is pull their lunch bags out and set them where they can put them in their backpacks.

And my Secret Secret:

The night before set the table for breakfast. Put out everything you can, plates, bowls, sugar, boxes of cereal, silverware, that you have less to do in the morning, and more time to enjoy breakfast with your kids.

If you do these things with your elementary age kids, gradually turning the responsibilities over to them, by the time they are older, they should be able to get themselves ready in time to enjoy a quick breakfast with you or dad.

During their last visit, my daughter-in-law mentioned to me the difficulty of getting breakfast on in time for her husband to leave for work while dealing with a 2 1/2 year old and a 1 year old. I try really hard not to give advice to my two wonderful daughters-in-law (fortunately they don't need my advice, but that doesn't stop most of us), but before I could think, out popped, "All the years the kids were in school, I set the table for breakfast the night before." The next week I received this text message.

The sideways photo is of their table set the night before, all ready for their oatmeal breakfast the next day. Yes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Doing this meant we had a quick breakfast with almost all our kids almost every morning before they went to school. We liked to use the time to not only get some nutrition in them to start the day, but say a quick prayer before the first one left the table to pray God's blessing and protection over their day. (And I will admit that there were more mornings than I care to remember like the one depicted above. I choose to forget!)

So, you remember those three words, and work toward having 5, 10, or 15 minutes with your kids before they start their day.

“The Night Before”

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You can get a copy today for only $4.75!

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  1. That is a secret many need to learn. I taught my children to lay out their clothes the night before that they wanted the next morning. Thank you for telling many who do not know this!

  2. BB would do the clothes the night before- alas, the other things never occurred to me. Will pas this one- Gracias! BB2U



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