It’s Monday! The first day of the work and school week, the to-do list, the planning and scheduling…but most importantly:
The return of the complete lack of urgency to get to school on time.
Let me ask you something:
When does the reminding, ushering, herding stop? I realize when they’re in the lower grades, this is part of it. I realize that some parents drive their kids to school on the way to work and often have expectations to not just get the kids ready but to get themselves ready.
I realize a lot of things, but mostly I realize that I’m the one who’s enabling them to be completely unconcerned about the ticking of the many, many clocks in this house on a school morning.
How does anyone do it over the many school years without losing their mind?
I finally decided that something had to change.
So, I changed my ways.
I changed my own morning routine by taking some steps back, away, from their morning routine. Basically I handed over the responsibility. Like this:
Instead of talking (too much), reminding them of the clock ticking, getting anxious or stressed that they will be late, I simply perform my tasks and then disappear into the shower.
Their job is to eat the breakfast I make, dress and brush teeth, take their lunches I prepare, pack up and get out in time for the bus. They have clocks, phones, apps to help them along.
They don’t need to hear my voice.
I don’t need to hear my voice. I don’t want to hear my voice…
Here is what I miss though: I miss sending them out the door and waving to them.
Perhaps that is one thing I can get back, later, when the ‘new and improved’ morning routine has returned. Because right now, watching them ‘not get ready’ while peripherally noticing all our clocks giving me the evil eye, that is causing me stress.
As I type this out though, I realize something about myself. Because I did not stick around after completing my tasks, escaping into the shower instead, I emerged calm and focused to start my own day. I’m at my desk typing and preparing my writing day without feeling flustered, or hyped up.
I didn’t hear whether they had stress getting ready. I didn’t worry that one kid was missing gloves and another forgot to have a form signed. I don’t know what happened, because I wasn’t present.
I feel secure that I have done my job to prepare them over the many years they’ve been in school already. I have faith in my kids to manage just fine, without me helicoptering around them.
Whether they managed on their own or whether their dad was there to steer them out, I don’t know. The point is, it was not me that was there to direct and supervise.
It was good for me. I think I’ll keep it up.
Does this ‘let them do their thing’ mentality work during the tween and teen years? Some kids hate arriving late to school, others don’t seem to care one way or the other.
My hope is that my kids will hate disrupting others the same was it bothers me, and that it will breed a more pronounced sense of responsibility and, yes, urgency to get somewhere on time.
Especially to school on a Monday. 🙂
How does it work in your house? Do you have any tips to share?