I dated a guy was always late to everything. It used to drive me crazy. 10 years later, I married a man who makes it a point to be on time ALL THE TIME.
“It’s just common courtesy,” he says. “It tells people a lot about your character and shows people how much you value their time. Time is very valuable, because it’s the one thing you could never take back once it’s lost.”
Now that I’m a parent, I can honestly tell you just how challenging it can be to be on time. My mornings, for example, are always difficult to predict. I can attempt to go to bed early, wake up early, and try to have that smile on my face, but by the time I get my little guy on the bus, my stress and blood pressure is almost guaranteed to have elevated to a new level of crazy.
The Challenges of Time for Parents
We wake up at 6 AM every morning, but every part of it consists of a lot of whining, arguing, and just paying enough attention to get to the end point. Breakfast takes a VERY long time, especially since every bite and chew takes minutes at a time. By the time it’s all done, yelling isn’t enough to get him to move a little faster just to brush his teeth. Of course getting changed into the day’s clothes isn’t any different, but depending on his mood, he can either choose to be cooperative or make it very difficult.
Trying to get a 5 year old to independently learn to do get dressed, brush his teeth, and every other thing he needs to get ready for the day, can make any mom look a bit nutty in the morning. However, regardless of the stress and daily challenges, we make it on time to the bus stop every morning.
With all of that said, it seems as if most kids are at school on time every day. So as parents, we somehow all have the ability to get kids on time, yes? So perhaps I may be missing something, because I’ve started to notice a significant pattern in tardiness from many parents who seem to always make their kids an excuse for being late.
I do only have one kid, so perhaps I might seem a little judgmental, especially since I know how difficult he can be at times. However, I do wonder if sometimes it can depend on the urgency or how much that other person who is late, actually really understands the importance of being on time? Or makes the assumption that “it will be understood.”
Putting Yourself in Your Waiting Friend’s Shoes
Think about a time you’ve had to wait for someone who was late. Don’t lie to yourself, but dig deep and think about whether or not you were even slightly annoyed. Perhaps you might think of a situation when someone’s tardiness actually cost you something. If you’re a late owl and rarely ever on time, perhaps you might think about this situation and how inconvenient it could be for those who have to wait for you.
The Benefits of Being on Time
Being on time is a great quality we can pass onto our kids. It shows respect, appreciation, good values, and a sign that they care. Our kids look up to us for just about everything. So if we share the trait of being tardy, then you can’t be too surprised if they go through life being the same way.