Question of the month

Kids in the Capital is all about parents in Ottawa helping each other out by sharing tips and advice. Not everyone wants to write a post, so we thought we’d introduce a new monthly feature – question of the month!

Each month we’ll ask a parenting question and we want to hear all the gems of advice you have to deal with this problem. Just leave your answers in the comments! And if you have a question you’d like to see in a future question, leave it in the comments too!

Question of the month 1:

What tips and tricks do you use to get you and your kids out the door with the least amount of hassle (and tears)?

While it is easier now that it is warm out, it can still sometimes take me twenty minutes to just get the kids to put on their sandals and grab their hats.

How do you do it?


Filed under Parenting tips, Question of the month

16 responses to “Question of the month

  1. I have nothing to offer but need lots of help here. If there is a time I am mostly likely to lose my cool, or break into a cold sweat, it’s in the process of getting the kids out the door, especially if I’m home alone.

  2. Honestly, I’m just firm. No nonsense allowed. So far it’s working for me, getting out the door is never a real problem (and yes, I just jinxed myself). But the one key for me is to always BE READY before I start to get the kids ready. They are the last I worry about.

    • I think this is pat of my problem. I am always packing the diaper bag and snack bag that morning. I need to be a bit more oganized and prep things the night before.

  3. Nat

    Well, I only have one and he’s 9. So mornings aren’t usually so bad. But I find sticking to routines really helps. Breakfast, getting dressed for school, etc. (I work from home and that flexibility has made it easier on many fronts.) Getting stuff ready the night before helps as well.

    What does set us off though is the unexpected, so it means having a conversation the night before. “Are we forgetting anything.” (Also the… “ooooooooh, I forgot my ______”) Are often cause for a delay and a u-turn.

  4. Two things that work really well for me are food and friends. We have certain snacks that are just for travelling — granola bars and juice boxes, for example — and if the kids get in the car or stroller, they can have that. My littlest one will run and get her shoes if I tell her I am going to bring Super Snack, which is a little tupperware with a mix of pretzels, cheerios, goldfish, teddy grams, raisins, and chocolate chips. She’s a junkie :).

    By “friends” I mean a stuffed animal. If I let the kids bring a stuffed friend they get excited about the trip. I sometimes even stoop to “talking” in the friend’s voice, “I want to go in the car! I want to have an adventure with you!” and they are up for it. It’s sometimes a hassle to have to keep track of three kids and their three toys as well, but it’s worth it for happy exits.

  5. My son is only two and in the mind set of either being ultra stoked to please us, or “I don’t want to do it so I don’t hear you”.

    If we know ahead of time we are going out, we get everything ready before him. Then we try to make everything as fun and as about him doing it “all by myself” as possible.

    Can you find your shoes?
    Can you open the front door?
    Can you find your car seat?

    If that doesn’t work, focus on something mega fun about the destination.

    The doctor is going to look in your ears! What do you think she will find in there? Maybe dinosaurs?

  6. We’ve found that “counting down” the time works. In 10 minutes it’s going to be time to get ready to go. In 5 minutes we have to get your shoes on. 1 more minute till it’s time to get ready. And then, when the time comes, it’s (USUALLY!) fairly speedy

  7. I always sunscreen the kids before they get dressed for the day that way when it comes time for us to go anywhere, even if it’s just last minute we just grab a hat and go! Also my diaper bag is always prepped with a change of clothes for each kid, two diapers for my son and a couple of granola bars or boxes of raisins. That way even if we’re going somewhere last minute I don’t have to run around like a crazy person!

  8. Dawn

    Planning, organisation, routine.

    School bag is packed the night before, except for packed lunch. Clothes laid out.

    I get up half an hour before the kids and I am dressed and ready to go when they get up. While I pack lunches (or a snack to take out with us if it’s not a school day) they eat breakfast. Then it’s sunscreen in the summer, get dressed, brush teeth and hair, shoes, coat, out the door.

    There is absolutely no TV on school days. Nothing to slow them down and distract them. I’m contemplating making a “no morning TV” rule in the summer.

    If we follow the routine everyday, it becomes habit and meltdowns are rare. (Touch wood.)

    • Dawn

      Oh I almost forgot….

      and a coffee maker with a timer on it REALLY helps me get through the morning rush… LOL

  9. These are all great ideas. What I need to do is take the time the night before to get everything organized, and I never want to. Too lazy/exhausted from the day we just completed. But I’m that person who can only find one shoe per kid and can’t find my car keys after I got everyone in their snow suits or something ridiculous like that. Sigh 😉
    I need to get better organized and have everything ready before I start the kids.
    Thanks everyone!. Keep them coming!

  10. Krista

    I am pretty lucky, in that all I have to do is say “outside” and my kids are running to the door to get their shoes on. So in addition to prepping as much as possible the night/nap before*, I try to build in 5-10 minutes of outside time before we need to be in the car/stroller. They play for a few minutes, then get in the car with no fuss.

    On the rare days when Woo (3) fights/drags his feet, I try to focus on giving him as much control as I can – do you want the green shirt or the orange shirt? Should you put your left shoe on first or the right one?

    I also word questions so that the result is what I want, no matter what his choice is – ie do you want to go potty while you brush your teeth or scrub your teeth while you go pee? either choice means both are getting done.

    *organizing while the littles eat breakfast also works for me when I am too tired to do it the night before*

  11. Julie

    We have car books and special cds for longer–more than 10min 😉 trips, these usually motivate my guys to get moving since these books and cds don’t come in the house.

    Also I keep a car bag in the trunk with anything that I might need (clothes, snacks, wipes, bandaids, sunscreen, towels (for last minute stops at a waterpark), hats, etc.).

  12. I have a drawer for each of the boys at the front door: same place for all hats, coats, backpacks and all other misc items needed to get out of the house. And I’ve also started having my 4 year old help my 2 year old get ready because he understands now that it means we get to go somewhere fun faster. Even if it means I just let them have a few minutes to pretend driving the van before we leave 😉

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