Thursday, August 15, 2013

Why It's OK To Hurry

I read an article recently that talked about a Mom who would no longer use the overused words "Hurry Up" when talking to her daughter.

When I first read the article I thought it sounded great. There have been numerous occasions in my 7 year career as a Mom that I thought about and discussed with my friends how I felt like I was going to give my kids a complex of some sort by asking them to "Hurry" all. the. time.

After reading the article I was hyper aware of how many times I used that phrase.

It's a lot. I won't lie.

I'll be the first to admit that I could stand to hurry less and enjoy more.. but with 3 kids in tow and places to be, it's not always possible to allow that "free spirited child" to stop and smell the roses, or pick the dandelion, or eat cheerios off the floorboard of the car, or change clothes a tenth time, or spend 1 1/2 hours eating a half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.. and so on. We would never make it anywhere. Ever.

While I know I need to learn to slow it down, kids need to learn the art of time management. I personally feel that this is as important for them as learning to read or write. Learning to manage their time will set them up for success later in life whether it's school projects in 5th grade, studying for finals in college, or in their career. Time management doesn't just happen, it's a learned skill and it's our job to teach them.

Beyond just setting them up for success in life, it teaches them to be respectful of other peoples time. 

Now, I'm not saying to rush them through their ice cream cone on a Saturday afternoon, but if you decide to run some errands or to stop for an after school treat before gymnastics or swim team, they need to understand that their team is waiting on them and they have the responsibility to be there on time. Even if that means leaving without finishing their treat because they were busy picking the sprinkles off one by one, or daydreaming out the front window of the bakery instead of eating their treats.

It's easy to get caught up in a hurry trap, feeling like we need to rush even when we don't and that's something I'm personally working on, but it's ok to set expectations for your child and to follow through. You can do this without cramping their personality or killing their spirit.

The time we have with our kids is short, no doubt, and I want to cherish every precious second, sometimes we just have to cherish it on the go..


Anonymous said...

One thing I notice parents do is they blindside their children with the "hurry up, we have to go *now*" routine, not recognizing that kids often don't understand when and why they're going places. When I was a full-time nanny, I was sure to give five-minute warnings to the girls. And five minutes meant FIVE minutes. Not seven, and not four.

Within a couple of weeks it got to the point that you could set an egg timer to the girls. They learned five minutes to the second on their own. This meant that they had time to finish up what they were doing, but had an increment of time that was manageable and they understood to finish their play, finish smelling the dandelion, or finish putting on their shoes.

It amazes me still when I see parents tell their kids suddenly, "we're leaving now." Do we EVER do that to other people in our lives? Would you ever walk into an office and say, "drop everything, we're having a meeting NOW"? Only in emergencies. So why do we do that to our kids?

Now that I'm a parent, I use the same tools withy kids. You an set an egg timer to them.

And I hardly ever have to tell them to hurry up.

I'm a Mom!..? said...

We are HUGE fans of the 5 minute warning, I think it's another great way to teach time management.

Thanks for commenting!