October 28 2014 5 Tips To Make The Morning Fun
Mostly we – those of us who work full-time – are immune to this as we get up first, get ready in peace and throw our breakfast down in order to get an ‘early train, as I want to get a seat’ or ‘I need to beat the rush hour’. And yet, I’ve come to really love the mornings as it’s when I get to interact with my kids when they’re at their happiest and least distracted.
So, my advice is to approach your boss or HR (or whatever they’re called these days) and ask to be in a little later 2 or 3 days a week so that you can get to enjoy some morning time with the kids, because all too soon they’ll be grown up and we’ll have missed it. Although if they’re anything like I was at 13, you’d go back to your normal hours then!
- Create a ‘Dad’s Club’. One morning a week, immerse the kids into your weekday routine and take them to a cafe for a hot chocolate. Pretend it’s a working day and talk to them as if they were your ‘team’. My two love this role playing, although it almost always descends into “I-Spy”.
- Take them to school early and hang around with them. There are very few kids and parents around at that time, giving you the chance to get a tour and ask what’s new in the school that week. Typically this is artwork, although you should always check the lost property whilst you’re there, for that hoodie that you haven’t seen in months. Every week get a different tour, which in reality is just the same tour done different ways. To mix it up pretend that you’re inspecting the school and the kids are the teachers, pulling them up on every little thing ‘not quite right’ and praising them for the good stuff.
- Get a game going! OK, so being from Liverpool and an Everton fan, soccer is my thing and I can’t walk past a ball without kicking it. So I love to get a game going in the school yard. It doesn’t matter what game you’re into, kids love the attention and early morning kick about, which makes up for the fact that you’ll be a sweating monster by the time you get into the office!
- Check out the classroom and speak to the teacher. Why wait until the end of a term to find out how your kids are doing? You wouldn’t go 3 months without checking in with your staff, so get yourself into the classroom and ask how the kids are doing, you’ll be amazed at what you can find out. Whilst you’re there, sit in their chair and pretend to be them, check out their artwork, read them a book and get to know the other parents doing exactly the same thing with their kids. Oh and if you break a chair whilst sitting on it, it’s good form to get your wallet out. Just saying!
- Send them on their way with a smile. Make sure that they’re well set up – mood wise – for what’s ahead. A joke, a tickle, a long noisy kiss in front of their friends, anything! Just get to see that smile and remind them to have fun and be the best little person that they can be and off they go, happy. And you should be too, providing you do not have to head to the nurse’s office after that kick around!
I dread the day that my kids don’t want to be seen with me at school, so I’m making sure I get my fill of it now. You should too.