They’re So SLOW – How Can I Speed My Kids Up?

 

Elaine:
We've gotten a bunch of questions around this issue of how do I get my kid to do X faster? To eat faster, to get out the door faster? They’re so slow sometimes -- how can I hurry up my kids?

Diane:
Breakfast is a thing. "My kid takes an hour to eat their breakfast."

Elaine:
Right, or to get dressed right?

Diane:
And I'll never get out the door on time. And it's this sort of idea that I get stressed out because -- I'm a time-clock-watcher and -- I'm sitting there going, "Oh, my gosh, he's taking too long and we're going to be late," and I start getting stressed out and then I lose my cool.

Elaine:
And it escalates from there. So there are two things going on here, right? One is, how long is it taking or how long does your kid actually need to get done, whatever it is. And then the other is, how are you responding versus reacting to it? Or, are you reacting or are you responding?

Diane:
Well, on needing more time, part of it is about playing with different things, right? So sometimes our kids do need more time. Sometimes our kids actually need less time. I have one kid that likes only having 15 minutes to get out the door...

Elaine:
Because she's using a different part of her brain to get it done.

Diane:
Exactly. It's working for her and it's not causing her stress. Other kids do need to ease into the morning. And so being willing to change your own agenda and your own pace to accommodate somebody who might have a very different style is an important piece of it.

Elaine:
So I heard a great story recently that I think is a good illustration of this. My husband told me this story. Apparently when people are going to shop Lamborghini's, not that I've ever shopped for a Lamborghini, this is a for-real thing, though. Lamborghini's go really, really fast and they're kind of hard to drive apparently. And so when people go to test drive, they have to teach them to slow down because traditionally what happens is people go in, they put their foot on the gas, they take off and the car starts to rattle and shake and things don't go well. And so they have to teach them that in order to get go fast, they have to slow down to go smooth. And then once they get the car smooth and moving, then they can get faster. And I think it's a great metaphor.

Diane:
Well, it is because as parents we want them to get out the door faster. But the reality is that we need to have the processes and systems in place that work smoothly. And then we might be able to speed them up -- maybe. Sometimes you can't, but you're not going to be able to speed them up if the system's not smooth in the first place.

Elaine:
Right. So that's the bottom line -- slow down to go smooth and maybe smooth can get them to go faster. Strangely enough, that’s how to hurry up kids over the long haul.

Diane:
And make sure you know that your kid may be going at a different pace than you.

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