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Pediatric Pointers

Does the morning rush of getting everyone out the door leave you feeling weary and defeated? You’re not the only one. It’s hard getting everyone up and moving to be ready to leave on time or to catch the bus. Let’s brainstorm how to make that better! A good start in the morning can make everyone’s day smoother. Consider these strategies:

Sleep

Is your child getting enough? Not enough sleep may make mornings more challenging. Check here for reference from the National Sleep Foundation.

Use the night before.

What can be done the night prior? Lay clothes out. Pack the backpack and/or lunch. Put breakfast dishes out and decide ahead of time what will be for breakfast. Talk about next morning’s plan
with your child before shutting the light off.

Make your plan visual.

Kids love to be in charge. Visuals and pictures help remind what comes next. The checklist shown here has helped many kids stay on task. Pop it on a clipboard, laminate it , use a dry erase marker and encourage them to check off the steps.

Choose language carefully.

Your language can help foster cooperation. Choices can help.
Instead of "Go get dressed", you can say "Are you putting on your pants or shirt first?" Instead of "Go brush your teeth", you can say "Do you want to brush your teeth by yourself or do you want me to help you?"

Catch them being good.

Offering words of acknowledgement and affection along the way help foster cooperation. "I really like the way you brushed your teeth!" or "High five for getting your coat on!" or "I am so proud of you for doing it all, can I give you a big hug?" are all encouraging. No matter how busy the morning, noticing cooperation can lead to more cooperation.

Consider a Reward. Some families collect stickers on a sticker chart if the morning routine was a success.
Or if all steps were done successfully, perhaps your child can choose the music in the car or have 3 minutes of playing catch while waiting for the bus outside. Or put aside a bin of fun toys you already have and designate that the "success bin" to be used while in the car or waiting for the bus.

Plan ahead.

Be clear in your expectations.
Encourage along the way. Even working on small manageable changes can make a
difference in your morning routine.

 

What does all this have to do with speech therapy?

Speech therapists not only deal with speech sounds, but also how well kids understand language. Following directions and successfully transitioning both fall into the scope of practice for a speech therapist. If your child has a really hard time with following directions and tolerating transitions, we are here to help!



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