My favourite thing about school holidays is not having to rush the morning routine. It seems as though simple activities such as teeth brushing and face washing become exponentially harder when there is a time limit!
When school starts up again, the transition from more relaxed routines to early mornings and added time pressure can pose various challenges. A common struggle is gaining cooperation, even with the simplest tasks. Parents sometimes get stuck nagging or using threats in order to get our children to get the job done. And although sometimes these methods work, we’re often left feeling frustrated or deflated.
Another option is to use play to achieve the same results, while fostering a more positive emotional atmosphere. Children love to feel knowledgeable, so one game is to play “the incompetent fool”. This puts them in the position to teach you how to perform a task in a fun way, while simultaneously carrying out the task they need to do.
For example, you can put toothpaste on the wrong side of the brush, and then start to brush your forehead. Your child will no doubt laugh and tell you how ridiculously wrong you are. This is when you can playfully challenge them by saying, “Don’t laugh! Of course I’m doing it right! I bet you can’t show be a better way!” They will be more than happy to show you the proper way to brush teeth. Keep the game going by turning the toothbrush upside down or pretending to brush the back of your head. Your child’s laughter and cooperation will help you get you through the most objectionable activities, without any added stress.