Punctuality & Kids

A bunch of years back, before I had kids I was late. Late to friends parties, late to appointments, late to things that weren’t on the top of my priority list. I wasn’t late to important things like work or a movie that I really wanted to see. Funny how that works isn’t it?

Then, I attended some Landmark Education courses and started to take a look at what being late represented to me as well as to the people or events I was meeting and attending. It pretty much was a big slap in the face of, “You’re not that important. I have better things to be doing with my time.” When I stopped to look at that, really look at that and feel what it felt to be on the receiving end, I took a big step back and adjusted my internal clock and made sure that I was on time for everything that I could be. It was a lifestyle change but one that I knew was for the better. Everyone likes someone who’s on time. That’s just a fact.

Then, as life shifted and changed and I had children, that clock has slipped here and there and being late has crept it’s way back into my life. Not by a mile but far enough that as I was drifting off to sleep last night this topic was lingering there for me to look at.

I realized that I run around gathering up snacks and sweaters and anything else I may need in my bag while yelling at the boys to “hurry it up” and “get your shoes on” and let’s go, let’s go” too often. Then, I realized something else. They have NO idea what time it is. NONE. They can’t tell time, they don’t know when we have to be somewhere, they have no concept of what any of that is all about. I think this whole reflection on time was sparked by something Mason said last night. He wanted to stay up for a bit before going to bed. He asked if he could have 5 more minutes. Then he said, “You could let me stay up for 5 more minutes or maybe more or maybe less. Like 4 or 3 or 2 or 1 or 6 or 7 or 8 or 9 or 10.” There it was, his concept of time. Numbers that didn’t really equate to too much, especially when I tell him, “o.k. 5 more minutes” and sometimes it takes 10 or 15 for me get to him. How can I even expect him to understand what 5 minutes really feels like?!

So, then it hit me, like it has a million times since having these boys, I’m responsible. Completely responsible. I’m responsible for all of us getting to where we need to be, and on time. I realized that I don’t like getting into the car and telling them that we’re going to be late. I don’t want to raise them as people who are late to things. I don’t want them to constantly feel rushed. I don’t want them to form a habit that is anything but beneficial throughout their lives.

What does this mean for me? It means that I need to adjust my clock once again. I need to allocate more time to get ready, get the boys ready, pack the bag and get to wherever it is we need to go. I want the people we see to feel important. I want to raise boys who understand that being on time, or even a bit early, is not only respectful and kind but that it can be done without running around like a chicken with your head cut off. (This is how I think I appear most of the time and THAT has to change!)

I guess I share this with you readers, thank you by the way for reading, to help hold myself accountable. To speak this new way of being out loud, {the keyboard keys are making quite a racket as I type), for people to hear.

I can’t promise that I’ll always be on time but I can promise that I’m trying.

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Tae Kwon Do

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