Surviving the School Run


back to school If you wake up every morning feeling like you’re about to go into battle and the thought of your alarm going of fills you with dread, you’ve come to the right place. There’s more to surviving the school run than making sure the kids get out of bed, and Izzy – a blogger at PassSmart – has created a plan of action which every despairing parent needs. From getting though breakfast to arriving at the gates on time, here we share some top tips to making your morning a little more bearable.

Preparation is key

When the kids arrive home from school, make sure they put everything back in its rightful place. Shoes don’t get scattered across the hallway, bags don’t live on the bed and clothes don’t belong on the floor! Drill this into them until it becomes second nature, and dumping everything everywhere becomes a thing of the past.

In the evening, make sure their clothes are laid out in their bedroom ready for the morning. Not only will this save you from having to search for rogue ties in the morning but should also mean you have time to get yourself dressed at the same time.

Rise and shine

Getting the kids out of bed is the first obstacle. Instead of becoming their wake up call, get them each an alarm clock. Let them choose their own, and make sure they’re set every night.

Alarms clocks aren’t miracle workers and you’re probably thinking that’s not going to work for your kids, so why not make getting up for school a little more fun? At this time of year, the promise of opening up their advent calendar is usually enough to entice them out, but at other times, you’ll need to get inventive.

Try making a star sticker chart which they’re rewarded with for getting up quickly and with minimal fuss! Set a target number of stars per month and reward them with a treat if they meet it.

The daily breakfast challenge

If breakfast time in your house resembles feeding time at the zoo, there are a few ways to minimize the mess and tame your brood.

Firstly, make sure they’re dressed first! Otherwise you’ll be greeted with a sleepy, and probably quite grumpy, child over a bowl of Cheerios.

Set out their cereals on the table the evening before so there’s no rifling around in the cupboards. Put an end to breakfast requests of jelly and ice cream by making it clear that sweet treats aren’t suitable for school-bound stomachs.

Try to introduce fruit into their morning routine by putting the fruit bowl in the middle of the table. You could cut up some banana and put it on top of their cereal, or create an incentive – the first person to eat their fruit gets to choose the music in the car.

Don’t forget it’s breakfast time for you too. It’s just as important for you to refuel in the morning. It’s tempting to grab something after you’ve dropped the kids off, but it’s not impossible to sit down and eat with them! Try and do everything on their timetable, so when they’re dressing, you’re dressing and when they’re eating, you’re eating.

If you’re not feeling too optimistic about breakfast running to schedule, stash a few muesli bars in the glove compartment, just incase!

No TV!

You might think switching the television on for 10 or 15 minutes is a good way to get some peace and quiet in the morning, but don’t do it! They’ll just sit in front of it instead of putting their shoes and coat on!

Cut out the squabbling

Listening to the kids arguing in the car doesn’t have to be part of your daily routine. Get the sticker star chart involved again. Any fighting or moaning results in a star reduction, and good behavior gains a star. Simple but effective!


Congratulations, you’ve made it to the school gates on time! Now you just have the rest of your day to contend with…


This guest post was brought to you by Izzy Guarella from; the British company helping young drivers get on the road.


9 thoughts on “Surviving the School Run

  • January 24, 2013 at 12:28 pm
    My daughter is the typical teenager. She could sleep till noon. Getting her up in the morning is painful. We have found that making her lay her clothes out the night before has saved a ton of time. We have a no redo rule. Once you pick out an outfit, you can;t change your mind in the morning. Reply
  • December 18, 2012 at 4:19 pm
    When my son was little, getting him up was the biggest challenge. After 20 times trying, he would finally roll out of bed, only to be in the worst mood. It drove me crazy because I was organized, but just getting him moving was terrible. I even tried putting him to bed earlier, nothing worked. He is now 20 and he still can't get up for work :) Reply
  • December 18, 2012 at 11:41 am
    No TV is like a remote control Reply
  • December 17, 2012 at 10:44 am
    We have a strict no TV in living room policy at our house when getting ready - it even distracts my husband and I! And no tv means no arguments about hurrying up, turning it off now, not af the commercial, etc. Reply
  • December 17, 2012 at 9:59 am
    I can definitely understand the no TV rule in the morning! It's so hard to get my grandson's attention while he's watching something. Reply
  • December 16, 2012 at 9:58 pm
    I have to set everything up the night before because I'm not functional in the mornings. Reply
  • December 15, 2012 at 4:18 am
    We are actually lucky when it comes to this. I wake up before the kids and have their lunches packed and have started getting their breakfast ready, on my days off work. They wake up on their own, usually a half hour before they need to and everything usually goes quite smoothly. On the days I work, they wake up before my wife and make their own breakfast, I assume it goes smooth! Great tips though, thankfully I don't need to use them! Reply
  • December 14, 2012 at 11:33 am
    i like the idea of no tv- it speeds up the process for sure! Reply
  • December 14, 2012 at 9:47 am
    I had to get up earlier than my parents through most of my childhood, so it never occurred to me that there was an option other than getting myself up and dressed and fed and out the door once I was school aged! So it can be done! Reply

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