"Where are my shoes?" "I can't find my backpack!" What parent hasn't heard these words? School and workday mornings can be stressful for everyone, but a rough morning can have a day-long effect on your child. Setting up a morning routine can help alleviate chaos and get your child in the right frame of mind to pay attention and learn more at school.

Organization is key to success in the morning! Make important items easy to locate. If you child can easily find necessary items, the morning “rush” will ease, and self-esteem will soar. Here are five tips that will help with organization and establishing school routines:

  1. Try color-coding bureau drawers. Use small colored stickers or pieces of construction paper. Socks in the “red” drawer, shirts in the “yellow” drawer, etc.
  2. Color-code the closet as well. Hang all the “pinks together, hang all the “blues,” etc. This makes finding clothes so much easier!
  3. If your child misplaces things, like their sneakers, try tracing and cutting out the outline of their sneakers on construction or contact paper. Then tape the tracings on their closet floor. Before bed each night make sure the shoes are sitting on their “feet” in the closet. (The same can be done for lunch boxes, backpacks, boots, etc.) A bedtime routine can also help reduce stress the next morning.
  4. Set aside at least 15-20 minutes to read together at bedtime. This can be done by a parent or an older sibling. This short period of individual attention usually calms a child, and eliminates the "getting up" questions that often follow just going to bed.
  5. Make bedtime the same time every night during the school week, even if your child doesn't go to sleep right away. This establishes a bedtime "pattern."

A good morning routine can instill the importance of organization in your child, and help him or her stay organized and focused during the school day.