Are you constantly telling your kids to hurry up?
No one likes to be told to hurry up. Most of us don’t love doing the nagging either. Yet, we hear it all the time:
“Hurry up! We’re going to be late! We don’t have enough time!”
Kids live what they learn and it is not surprising that children are convinced that there isn’t enough time, when that’s what they are hearing from mom, dad and the culture at large.
Brain development research, tells us that children and adolescents may not fully understand how to use time effectively. In her book, The Teenage Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Survival Guide to Raising Adolescents and Young Adults, Dr. Frances Jensen says,
“If the human brain is very much a puzzle, then the teenage brain is a puzzle awaiting completion.”
The brain’s Frontal Lobes (which control tasks like organization, judgement, reasoning and impulse control)haven’t completely developed in children and teens. That’s why we need to teach kids how to use time effectively – they can’t just figure it out. When we develop realistic expectations and model concrete steps, we will all benefit and increase the sense of calm in our families.
In order to teach our kids about time, we need to find it for ourselves as well. That’s why today, we’re asking:
How do you find the time?
The truth is, there is always enough time. We will find the time to do what needs to get done. In fact, we will make that time. The critical part is understanding:
– what really needs to get done
– how much time we really have
– how we are spending the time that we have
Families seem to spend a great deal of time creating external schedules (school, activities, games, practices, lessons, exercise, etc.) What seems to happen less often is scheduling our home life. Believing that kids “know what’s supposed to happen,” parents often just leave it to chance and then nag and yell their way through it on a daily basis.
The “list-makers” of the world are very good at knowing what needs to get done. We encourage you to take it further. Start to estimate how long each thing will take AND plan when it will happen.
Many adults will be able to do this in their heads. Kids really need to see this in a concrete way, using a calendar or a daily schedule. Once time is visually blocked, it is a lot easier to see that there actually is time to get things done.
Now, kids might not fully appreciate this, as it may result in them doing a few more chores than they thought that they had time to accomplish. Wendy Mogel, in her book, The Blessing Of A B Minus, reminds us how easy it is for kids to get out of doing chores in order to study for a test. The truth is, there is enough time for both of those things to happen when we break it down into how much time it will actually take rather than giving in to the culture’s mantra, “I don’t have time!”
We can hold ourselves and our kids accountable to use our time in a way that matches our values. We’ve talked a lot about that, this month. Get rid of the “Hurry Ups” by planning the morning routine with your kids ahead of time and then holding them accountable. There will be less nagging for everyone and more than enough time.
This week: Work with your child to create a schedule for what needs to happen at home. If you hear the excuse, “There’s not enough time to empty the dishwasher!” work with the child to block that time into the day so that there is enough time for everything that needs to get done.
Want to get out the door without nagging?
Our Getting out the Door Alive Video Course will help you do just that!