The 24 Hour Rule
As Hockey Moms, we’ve learned a lot – not all of it pleasant. Don’t worry; this article won’t be all about hockey. It is actually about a parenting tool which we took right out of Hockey Calgary’s NDL Coaches Manual: The 24-Hour Rule.
Many times when we are faced with difficult situations, the best tact we can take is to give a little more time to consider the problem. In establishing relationships with individual players, this idea can be an invaluable ally to any coach. Sometimes a player (or yes, a parent) might have concerns or a complaint which can result in explosive conversations where words are spoken that neither side really intended or meant. Emotions are laundered, and unfortunately, this can be damaging. This type of scenario is particularly applicable if the discussions occur immediately after a practice or game when someone is still upset. This is when the 24 hour rule could be used. The player is told that both of you should give it a day’s thought and address the issue tomorrow.
The 24-hour rule is a simple way to apply our 5Th R of Parenting: Respond with Respect.
Let’s face it, as a parent, when someone makes a choice that seems to go against our child, it can be really easy to skip Respond with Respect and go right to REACT!
This is why we’ve started to use the 24-Hour Rule – and we don’t just mean in hockey. We’re using this rule a fair bit. We’re using it as parents; when the Mother Bear wants to roar.
Example: Child comes home from school complaining that adult has treated her poorly.
Mother Bear Reaction: I’m going to march right into that school and give that adult a piece of my mind!
24-Hour Rule: Ok, I’ll wait until tomorrow afternoon to talk to the adult. Meanwhile child, help me to understand the whole picture… what happened next? How can you take responsibility for your part in this problem? How can you practice assertiveness? Sounds like we have a plan.
Example: Phone call from the school saying child has punched another child.
REACTION: What?! I’ll be there to pick him up and ground him for a week!
24-Hour Rule: Ok, I’ll come and get him and wait to hear the whole story. What were the different sides? How will the school be handling it? How can I help the child to take responsibility?
Twenty-four hours can make a huge difference to many, many things. It can take us out of the blame and shame cycle, it can help us to cut the drama and it can help us to see where each person’s responsibility lies so that we don’t have to take all of the responsibility on our own shoulders.