Do your kids throw a fit when you call them to dinner? How about bed time? Is it because you don’t respect their time?
I know, this may sound like a shocking statement coming from me. As many of you know, I do not believe in child centered parenting but that is not what I am talking about. Has their ever been a time your kids have walked up to you and asked you something and you told them that you were in the middle of something and to give you a few minutes? So in other words you wanted them to respect you and your time.
Giving a time warning (5 minutes until dinner, 10 minutes and you will have to clean up your craft, etc) shows that you respect that they are doing something that you respect.
Do you want to have kids that get involved in whatever they are doing? Do you want them to concentrate on their activities? Well, of they can be pulled away at any minute no child is going to be all the vested in their activities. A time warning gives them the security that they can wrap things up or get to a stopping so they know they won’t just have to abandon their efforts.
The real dirty secret…respect your kids’ time and they respect you and your time more. My kids really value that warning so when they need something from me they are willing to give me that same kindness. “Mom, I would like some more water when you get a chance.” Isn’t that so much nicer?
Also, when you respect your kids they know it. So if plans have to change (“Kids, Mom didn’t realize what time it is. We gotta go now!”) they handle it with a definate modicum of grace.
This is a win-win. You get a payoff with your kids now and you take another step at raising awesome adults!