Allow Children To Take Their Time

I think my title for this article might be a little misleading, because I’m a mum who is always rushing my child.

“Hurry up, go and brush your teeth.”

“Quick! Eat your breakfast!”

“C’mon, wear your shoes. Otherwise the school bus is leaving.”

All these sentences are heard multiple times in my house every morning.

Phoebie takes her time to roll out of bed, and come to my room. Now with a baby brother, she must cuddle with him and say” I love you” or “Didi’s so cute” many times before she is willing to do her morning potty business and then brush her teeth.

Don’t get me wrong. I certainly appreciate and treasure how endearing her actions are.

But when the school bus is coming in like 30 minutes, it’s hard not to rush her.

There are other times I have to rush her too.

Like when we are meeting friends for a meal. I rush her to get changed and rush her to wear her shoes.

Or like when she takes forever to finish her meal. The clock could have tick-tocked for one hour and she is barely half way through her food. “C’mon, hurry up and finish your rice!” I would say.

When I read the article by Rachel Macy Stafford about not hurrying her children, I wanted to laugh. How is it possible not to rush your child and not say “Hurry up”?

Yet, what she said is so true too.

“Pausing to delight in the simple joys of everyday life is the only way to truly live.”

How can I rush Phoebie through every single thing she does in a day? What does that teach her?

So I have learnt to choose my battles. On the one hand, Phoebie has to learn the urgency of some things. Like if we miss the school bus, there are consequences. Or if she takes forever to eat her meal, her food gets cold and she may have lesser play time.

On the other hand, I want Phoebie to know that it is okay to stop and look at flowers.

20140723-180442.jpg Almost every day after she returns from school, I try to find something for her to see in our neighbourhood, like these purple flowers.

20140723-180625.jpg Or this bee that was lying on the ground, which I used the opportunity to warn her about bee stings.

20140723-180742.jpg Or these berry-like things on the plant.

Phoebie has gotten used to exploring our neighbourhood when she comes home from school and asks to look at flowers nowadays.

Allowing her to take her time has taught her to be more observant about her surroundings, as well as to appreciate nature.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is, while it is impossible to give up hurrying Phoebie totally, (because really, there are times when things can’t wait,) it is possible to find time to allow her to take her time. She doesn’t have to rush through every single thing.


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