Getting out the door with kids can be stressful, tiring, and make you want to stay home. Here’s how to get out the door with kids!
The kids are loosing it, everybody is using it.
The other day I ended up going somewhere and one of my kids didn’t have shoes on. I had to put him on my back and carry him. He is five! How did he not know this. I don’t know…
I didn’t know it was such a big problem getting out the door with kids (myself included sometimes).
So let’s talk about simplifying this part of life. So whether you’re headed to the store, park, church, or whatever… these tips will help.
Kids (toddlers through elementary school) will learn everything from life management, social, survival, and hygiene skills PLUS MORE!
I’m not necessarily talking about them preparing themselves, I’m talking about mom having some things prepared before hand.
- Plan ahead by putting some things in the car the night before.
- Pack bags that can be pre-packed.
- Go ahead and load up heavy items, etc.
First of all, this will help with the stress of getting out the door with kids. Packing things ahead of time takes some of the pressure off.
When we put on the pressure, it goes down to the kids and before you know it… everything goes to pot.
When Getting Out the Door with Kids, Start Early
Now, I made this mistake a year ago. I decided that I wasn’t going to get them up too early for school because I felt like they needed sleep (you know I care a lot about sleep).
Then, I decided I was going to get them up “just in time” to get ready. Let me tell you…
It didn’t work!
Because kids- you know-
- they get up,
- stare at the wall a bit,
- then read their comic book,
- come down and eat, but
- they haven’t even gotten dressed yet.
They needs lots of reminders. And so they go back to get dressed, but then their food is too hot. Having just enough time just doesn’t work with kids.
Having just enough time is a recipe for stress when you’re working on getting out the door with kids.
All of this could be avoided by adding on at least 15+ minutes. Everything is less manic when you are not stressed about getting out the door with kids.
If you know you have to leave by 11 (instead of being like “it’s 10:45 we need to go) get everybody ready at 10 and then just let them play.
Drop the Desperation & Take on the Authority
In the past I have taken a tone of desperation and been like… 😭
Can’t y’all just get your shoes on. Or why do you have to go to the bathroom right before…
At this point we feel powerless and not in control. We start to think “well I’m pathetic” and the kids notice.
After that, they think that mom is going to have a moment and decide to go and get that board game they were just thinking about doing.
Now, that’s the opposite of getting out the door with kids.
Think of it this way: you literally are the boss. You’re the one in charge. Put on that authority and act like it. Get the tone in your voice that will demand their attention without being mean.
Prioritize Your Routine
- Use routine cards
- Have the routine so ingrained
- Have routine visuals somewhere specific
My son who is ADHD has routine cards in his room where he can visually see what to do. His doctor says that the less I can verbally direct him the better.
For some kids, the more they can reference something and go to it on their own, the better they feel about it. They feel less put upon and can be more agreeable to do certain tasks.
This is great for toddlers and preschoolers as well. We’re not doing a bunch of different things each day. The routine is there and its consistent- particularly if it’s a school morning routine.
Follow my 3 step system to organize your mornings, afternoons, and evenings to minimize the chaos and micro-managing.Learn More
Routines are important especially as they get older. You don’t want them to wake up and then just wait around waiting on you to remind them to get dressed.
Make Sure Your “Headed out the Door” Area is Ready to Go
Wherever you go in and out- take the time to make this a command center for leading.
- A bakset for shoes
- Hooks for backpacks
- Where you keep the diaper bag
- The shelf for the pool back, library bag, etc.
Keep the areas designated for where you get ready to leave organized and with a purposes.
So instead of you coming in and putting things around the house and then frantically looking for them next time you have to go… everything is where it’s easy to grab.
Take some time on this. Go there… to that place and plan what needs to go in this space. Think, the people have to get ready but the things will be ready to go.
Positive Parenting Tip
When I get under stress I seem to be like “hello, what is going on and what are you people doing?”
- So If I’m running late or not prepared… I get stressed. One thing I like to do to break that if it starts happening is to stop and just be silly about it.
This is just a great positive parenting tip that really helps break the stress. So let’s say you’re about to yell but instead you make a funny joke or say your words in a “sing song” voice to break it up.
This can help break the tension if they are feeling some of the stress that you’re creating.
So keep this in your toolbox if you think you’re about to yell. You can go to this strategy when you want to still communicate the urgency- but without the anger.
Get One Child Ready at Time
One thing I did, especially when I had 5 kids under 5 years old, and had problems getting everybody out the door- is get one child ready at a time.
So what I would do is get one of them totally ready. I would go strap him in and then repeat until they were all in the vehicle.
It will be less like you’re trying to herd everybody out together and you can focus on one child at a time.
Ready to try and deal with this temper of yours? Let this checklist help you get a handle on it.
Refill Bags for Certain Purposes
- Keep a bag of towels,
- bag of extra clothes (or shoes),
- snacks, or
- whatever you may need an entire bag of for what you do regularly in life.
You can keep this in the van or by the door (wherever your command area is). This will simplify getting out the door with kids should you not feel like packing or are in a bug hurry.