Tuesday, August 25, 2009

End the Morning Nagging

"Eat your breakfast." "Brush your teeth." "Come on let's fix your hair." "I'm waiting, are you coming to the bathroom to get your hair fixed?" "Why aren't your shoes on yet?" "Come on you're going to be late!" "Don't forget your backpack." "Do you have your backpack?" "I can't believe you got in the car without your backpack!"

Yep, that's what you could hear my husband or I saying every morning of last school year when our firstborn was in kindergarten.

It was an exercise in patience, extreme patience, every day from 7AM to 7:45 AM and my husband and I?

Are not morning people.

But mornings this year?

No nagging at all, no reminders, and the 6 year old is ready and waiting by the backdoor at 7:35AM!

The answer was so simple I cannot believe we suffered so long without it!

Before this school year started I bought this little blank, fish-shaped cardboard flip book for $1 at Michaels. I filled the 10 pages with the tasks my son needs to do before school each morning and a few pieces of really terrible artwork:

1. Wake up & Get Dressed (we lay out his clothes the night before)

2. Eat breakfast

3. Clear your spot (this means his spot at the table)

4. Help pack your lunch

5. Brush teeth

6. Hair Fixed

7. Put socks and shoes on

8. Grab backpack and lunch

9. Be ready by backdoor at 7:35 AM

10. Have a super day! We love you so much! "Do not fear, for I am with you; I will strengthen you and help you." Isaiah 41:10

So our 6 year old follows the book step-by-step in the mornings and if he achieves the 7:35 AM goal without any reminders he gets to move up one on our privilege ladder.

And for the last 2 days it has worked beautifully!

Find more Works for me Wednesday here.


  1. This is the most precious thing EVER ... how adorable and how cool that you drew little pictures for him to show hair ok / not so ok. I just love this! I used to work with a little girl who has autism and we had books like this for her along with a penny chart (after 5 pennies she got a reward). She didn't communicate much but totally understood what she needed to do with these supports.
    Beautiful idea!


  2. Great idea! This seems like a fun and stress-free way to get through the mornings (which are hard on us, too). Now tell me where you keep the fish, bc it'd wind up on the floor at my house. :)

  3. I love, LOVE it! So smart! And I love the hair pics and ending with a Bible verse! Great job! And thanks for sharing!

  4. Great idea. We also had our kids pay me a dollar to take them to school should they not get their things done and to the bus ontime. The only chose that once and they are grown now!

  5. I am not a morning person either!

    What an awesome way to teach responsibility and I love that he is ready and waiting!

  6. Great idea! I'm sure he loves it just as much as you do!

  7. We do something similar with our kids but we keep a checklist (with pictures for those who can't read) in the kitchen. We also assign an older child to each younger child and on the big kids check list is check on your charge and be sure they finished all their list.


  8. Great idea... I am going to try a similar thing for bedtime (our biggest struggle).

  9. What a great idea! :D Love the privilege chart, too! :D

  10. I'm so glad he had a wonderful first day! And here's to hoping the little book continues to work its wonders!

    Personally, I think it's the artwork that makes the book! Lol!

  11. Great idea! My oldest is about to embark on kindergarten and I'm a dreading the getting ready craziness of the mornings.

  12. What a fantastic idea! I love that it is so simple and only cost $1. Way to go!

  13. I need to try that! My biggest issue is the waking up and getting with it. School starts so EARLY around here....our bus comes at 7:05!

  14. Wonderful idea!!! Love the hair illustrations too :-)

    Amy Ellen at Health Begins With Mom

  15. really cute idea! I might get on of these for future days

  16. What a great idea. I have to nag my 4 yr old son constantly and I hate it. This looks like a great alternative! thanks for stopping by my blog!

  17. Perfect solution to a very common problem! Thanks!!!

  18. Adorable! I was thinking of getting a chart for the very same purpose but I think my son would adore a lil book.


    Come by and visit me over at Free 2 Be Frugal!

  19. Congratulations!!
    That's a great idea.

    Have a wonderful day


I'd love to hear what you think!