How to Get out of the House on Time with Kids
- Change the Time – My biggest piece of advice for getting out of the door with kid in tow is to mentally change the time you need to be someplace. If you have to be somewhere at 9:30, aim for 9:15 to allow yourself extra time for the dawdlers and the unexpected situations that always seem to arise. I definitely have room for improvement here, but it seems to help when I plan my time more wisely.
- Give Warning – Make sure to give your kids ample warning ahead of time too. “We are leaving in 15 minutes, so in 5 minutes I’m going to ask you to stop what you are doing and come get your shoes and jacket on.”
- Prepare Ahead of Time – Way prior to leaving the house, prepare ahead of time by having shoes lined up, jackets ready to go, snacks or lunches made, and a diaper bag or activity bags all packed. My packing kid lunches resolution really helped get us out of the door easier for school in the morning. If you are leaving early in the morning make sure to have clothes picked out the night before too.
- Set an Alarm – In parenting and life with kids, inevitably you’ll lose track of time. If your goal is to be out of the house by 11:00, mentally tell yourself you are leaving at 10:45. Set an alarm for 10:30, which is the indication to the family that it’s time to start getting ready to leave.
- Don’t Forget the Potty – As you are walking out of the door, it’s inevitable that one of your children suddenly has to go to the potty. I really think, “Time to go,” is baby talk for, “Time to poop your diaper.” Remember that you have given yourself a cushion by starting to get ready to leave earlier than needed. However, during “time to go” hustle make sure to give reminders to your potty trained children to head to the bathroom.
- Stay Positive – If you are like me, you get in “go, go, go” mode, and it can get intense. Keep it light, using a fun voice. You’ve allowed time for discipline if needed because of disobedience because you still want to teach your kids to obey, even if you are in a hurry. If you have allowed yourself a cushion, you’ll have a much easier time staying chipper as you tie shoes, change diapers and get kids buckled into the car. You can make it a game to get to the car fast. When buckling up, I have all my kids yell out their name once we are buckled. When I keep the mood light, everyone’s anxiety eases.
- Lighten Up – I do believe being respectful of time is a way to honor the person you are meeting or the activity to which you are committed. However, I believe we sometimes get into go mode just because we have our own agenda. Having kids is a real lesson in learning to slow down and take time to smell the roses. Lighten up your agenda when appropriate. Make sure you are not so over-scheduled that it always feels like “go, go, go” to your children. While we teach our kids to honor time commitment, we can also teach them that there is a benefit to a slower pace of life where we learn to enjoy this world and one another.
I hope the tips I’ve given have helped you consider how to get out of the house on time with kids. It takes a bit more consideration, preparation and an intentional attitude adjustment to make it happen well. I believe you can experience success in this area.