the morning rush
A lot of what we’re about here at ideas for thoughtful parents is sharing subtle frame shifts in perspective and behavior that lead to more desirable results, whether in a child’s response or in a parent’s mood. Last week’s post was about stating requests in a positive light. This week I’m sharing a counter-intuitive tweak in our morning routine, because HOLY MOLY, we are dragging in the morning! OK, I get it – it’s cold and dark, and the warm bed in January as the house is just starting to heat up is pretty hard to leave. So what to do when my son has 15 minutes to get out the door and he’s still horizontal?
Instead of going with the “hurry up!” option when the panicked, wild-haired, flush-cheeked child realizes the time, I go for the “no worries, we’ve got plenty of time.” Rather than “we’re going to be late!”, I opt for the casual and measured “Take your time. I’ll put your lunch in your backpack.” If you go this route, the way in which you say it really matters – draw it out, put the calm in your voice. It’s contagious.
And while “hurry up!” leaves everyone feeling bad, “we’ve got time” gets you is a less stressed kid (one better able to focus on actually getting ready), a nicer start to the day for you, and the chance to be helpful, supportive, and connected in the moment you launch your child into his or her day.
Full disclosure: this approach does require a certain desire on a child’s part to actually be at school on time, as well as a child capable of completing necessary tasks in the time available. So whether it’s 15 minutes or 30, as long as you’ve got someone invested in a timely arrival, this can be just the thing to smooth the morning rush. -t