Ever find yourself standing at the car door, running late for school, again, and watching one of your children climb s-l-o-w-l-y into the car? Possibly even leaving one of their cute little feet just in the way so you know you can’t yet safely close the door?
But you’re running late. And feeling stressed about it. And all you can do is think about getting that door shut, kids buckled, and out the driveway? So you *say* those two words that you think might help.
But they don’t; in fact, it makes little if any difference at all. Other than to wind you up more and make the kids feel stressed.
But I realise now that those precious few seconds make no difference to how late we are running, but if they are being rushed all the time, those seconds add up, and might have a lasting impact on our kids. And it really is seconds. Sometimes I catch myself in that moment, take a breath, and observe that it’s never more than 15-20 seconds tops that I would save if my words
actually meant that either of our kids would bolt into the car at lightning speed.
One of the beautiful and magical things about childhood is the sauntering, the savouring, the noticing, the dawdling. And if we’re running late, it’s typically because of something I’m accountable for, not the kids. It’s the optimist in me that makes me think I’ve got time to just do one more thing before we go out the door.
So now I try to make more time in the morning so we leave with ample time for school, and if we are running a few minutes late, so what? Me saying ‘hurry up’ doesn’t help, and sets the tone for a hurried and stressful start to the day. Nobody benefits from that.
Those precious seconds, are more precious when they’re calm and relaxed ones in our children’s minds. If there is a genuine reason to stress over running late, I’ll be trying very hard to keep it to myself.