Getting Out the Door on Time

Some thoughts as we begin 2018 at school!
By Professor Matt Sanders
For many families the morning rush hour is the most stressful part of the day. So how can you and the kids get out
the door on time?
The key is organization.
Get yourself ready first, before your child. To avoid last minute rushing prepare some things the night before and go
to bed at a reasonable hour so you’ll wake early enough.
I also recommend against having the television on in the morning. Better to make sure the children are dressed
before breakfast. Perhaps when they are fully ready you can turn the television on then.
Let your child know ahead of time that you’ll be going out and explain exactly what the day’s activities will be and
their time requirements.
Younger children can learn the importance of organization by doing things for themselves. Teaching children to get
dressed by themselves is a chance to practice independent skills and it also saves you time.
You may like to try the “beat the clock” game. Your child’s goal is to be ready before the alarm clock sounds off. If
your child wins, he earns a small treat or reward, such as a favourite snack in his lunch box.
Tell your child exactly what tasks he must do to be ready to leave and thus win the reward. Make sure you set the
timer for a reasonable amount of time and avoid giving repeated instructions or nagging your child to hurry up.
Often it will only take a two-week period of beating the clock before the rewards and the clock are phased out.
Remember to always praise your child’s achievements in learning better organization.
Professor Matt Sanders is founder of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program®. To find out more about
Triple P in Alberta go to

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