Sunday, September 2, 2012

Parenting Tip - Think Backwards

Arrgghhh, are you always running late to everything and seem to be saying, "HURRY UP!" way to often?   You've read the tips, the ideas, but nothing seems to work for you, right?  That just seems to be the way of life when you have kids.

But does it have to be that way?  NO--- anyway it doesn't have to always be that way.

The best method for me to get anywhere on time is to COUNT BACKWARDS.  What time do I want to arrive at my destination?  Let's say I need to be somewhere at 8:00 am.  Next I decide how long it will take to drive there--15 minutes.  When I had kids to get out the door with me, I always forgot about the next step--how long will it actually take to collect belongings, and get into the car Sometimes that's the killer step we forget, because it seems like it takes 5-10 minutes to get from the bedroom/bathroom/kitchen to get shoes on, to books, etc to out the door and into the car.  Oh rats, then it takes several minutes to get kids buckled in the car too.  Be sure and add that time in your estimation. 

So it looks like I better leave 20 minutes early (15 min drive + 5 min packing up) to get somewhere at 8:00.  But then I forget about finding a parking place, or walking to where I'm going to.  I just figure if my car is pulling into the parking lot at 8:00 I'm on time. But everyone else is already inside and ready to begin.  Yikes, I better figure in another 5 minutes for that.

So if I have to be somewhere at 8:00, now I have to leave 25 minutes early (15 drive + 5 packing up + 5 parking)!  

Here's another way of THINKING BACKWARDS.  You picture yourself arriving someplace with your children, and you're calmly walking from the car to your destination.  You picture yourself calmly waiting at all the red lights you seemed to hit this morning.  You picture yourself changing the baby's unexpected diaper change with only a little bit of hurry and tension.  You picture yourself getting yourself and kids dressed and fixing hair in a somewhat unrushed manner.  You picture yourself the night before deciding what to fix for breakfast and what clothes to wear.  You also picture yourself mentally tallying up what needs to be done to be on time the next morning.

I like thinking backwards.  It helps me organize myself and helps me work toward goals.  It helps me be able to take time to "smell the roses".  It helps me feel calm.  It helps me simplify and enjoy life.

Here's a fun article written by a chronically late mom and how she finally changed her ways.

Here's an idea of where you can keep all the backpacks, etc that your children need as they head out the door to the car.

One last idea:  This time THINK FORWARD.  Think about your children and what you are teaching them.  Do you want grown up children who are smart, sincere, have integrity and self-assurance?  Do you want children that are aware of other people's needs and service oriented?  Then they have a mother who is organized, who has self control over her own self, and has taught her children well.

They have YOU!

Become that kind of mother and start teaching your children by teaching them how to be on time.  Be on time to events, on time with their homework, on time to their jobs.  A simple thing that will reap great rewards! 

Thanks for reading,


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