Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Why I Decided that Being (Five Minutes) Late Isn't Such a Bad Thing


I am one of those people who like to be on time, even a little bit early.  I don't like to be late, and I want to make sure that I get where I am going with plenty of time to spare in case something happens on the way. Too often, however, my children are casualties of my wanting to be on time.  I end up yelling and screaming at them to hurry up so that we can get where we are going on time.

One day I read something by Gary Thomas where he said that it makes no sense to throw my husband under the busy, so speak, in order to look good to a stranger.  On another day, I read something about not harming my children's spirits.  And God used these two different thoughts to start my contemplation of something:  what if it's more important to protect my children's hearts than it is to get somewhere on time?

I first came to this realization one day as we were eating lunch, preparing to leave for piano lessons.  What would really happen if I let my children finish their lunch in peace and get ready without my yelling at them to hurry?  We might be five minutes late.  Would five minutes be worth the damage done to my children's spirits?

I thought about this again when planning for Practicum.  What would the results be if we were five minutes late to Practicum because I didn't yell and scream at my children to hurry?  Well, my children would be a little late to their camps, but that's not a big deal.  And I would be a little late to my session, again not a big deal.

In other words, I decided that being five minutes late would not be worth damaging my children.

Do you know the peace that I had when I made that decision?  It was wonderful!

Now don't get me wrong:  I am talking about being five minutes late, not half an hour.  I still think it's rude to be late, rude to whomever is waiting.  And you have to do a good bit of planning sometimes to be on time.

However, children are children, and they don't always realize what time it is or what they should be doing so you can leave on time.  And, let's be honest, if/when we're late, it's usually my fault for not warning them adequately about when we need to leave.  When I come storming out of my room running late, it's not fair to my children to start yelling at them to hurry when they had no idea that we needed to leave any time soon.

So I decided to try to warn them better about when we needed to leave and to relax a little if they weren't quite ready when it was time to leave.

If you have a problem getting places on time, this post is not meant to make you feel better about habitually being late.  Rather, you need to figure out why you're always late and work on that.  Here and here are two posts that might help.

However, if you're always on time, but it involves yelling and screaming on your part, this post is for you.

Are you usually on time?  Does it take yelling and screaming on your part, or have you figured out how to be punctual without that?  :)

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