How one dad gets his toddler out the door in 15 minutes every morning


Getting a toddler prepped and ready to go off to pre-school or daycare each morning can be easier said than done. And running through a similar routine at nighttime? Well, you know how that goes.

But one clever dad came up with a time management trick that will have your kids ready in just 15 minutes each morning. That’s how well it’s working for his little one, at least.

Matt Girvan was struggling to get out of the door in the morning because it was taking about an hour and 15 minutes to get his child ready every day. Between the tiredness, tantrums and general lack of wanting to go to school, getting the little guy ready for the day was tough to say the least.

Girvan is a developer of time management apps, so he decided to apply classic time management techniques to his family’s morning routine. Indeed, he discovered that a time management technique that works for adults could also help his toddler stay on track.

Using the concepts of visual management (pictures that depict which action you should be performing), daily management (a day-to-day explanation of what needs to get done) and standard work (a timeframe explaining how long each action should take), Girvan created a chart for his son to follow while getting ready for the day.

My Gung Ho

He points out that he had his son help to create the chart. That gave the little boy ownership of the process, and made him more likely to use it.

No, Girvan didn’t explain every detail of why these time-management tactics work, but he did let him help pick out the images, cut them out and attach them with magnets to the chart.

Now, every morning his son wakes up and runs through the chart, checking off each action as he goes along. And apparently, he loves doing it.

“The act of checking something done for him seems to be as important as it is for an adult, he really gets a good feeling from it,” Girvan wrote on Medium.

My Gung Ho

Not only is this routine establishing good habits now, it’s teaching the little boy how to stay organized in the future. It’s a good example of coaching rather than coddling.

“It’s important for parents to become exceedingly self-aware of their words and actions when interacting with their children, or with others when their children are nearby,” Dr. Tim Elmore told Forbes. “Care enough to train them, not merely treat them to a good life. Coach them, more than coddle.”

By letting his son get himself ready every morning, he’s giving him his own task to be responsible for and setting him up for success. This dad’s not doing things for him, instead he’s teaching him how to do things on his own. And his son seems to be enjoying it.

We’d say that’s a parenting win!

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About the Author
Augusta Statz
I have a B.F.A. in Writing from the Savannah College of Art and Design. I’m an avid writer with a genuine sense of curiosity. I feel the best way to absorb the world around you is through fashion, art and food, so that’s what I spend most of my time writing about.

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