That morning, his youngest, (who was going into 1st grade) had asked him to tie her shoes. He did - quickly and efficiently. About 30 minutes later as they were leaving their home for school, she asked for him to tie them AGAIN... He was very irritated. He began to lecture her on the fact that she should already know how to tie her shoes. That "you need to practice to be good at it" and "the world doesn't stop just because you need something... you know, we all have jobs to do in the mornings, and..." (you get the point) he was frustrated.
She said "It's ok, Daddy, I can do it." He sighed. This was NOT what he wanted, because now she would insist that she could do it, and he knew she couldn't, so they were about to end up in a power struggle. They were already 10 minutes late. He sighed again. He sat down and watched her fumble with the strings. After many tears, a lesson on tying her shoes, and he missing his bus...she was off to school, and he to work.
That was the morning of September 11th. He recounted this story days later, as he explained that if he hadn't stopped to tie her shoes, he would have been in Tower One when it fell.
Sometimes it seems overwhelming as a parent. We lose our cool, we get frustrated and we lecture. Sometimes we struggle that our children are not on OUR time tables. When they make us late, our anger boils over. Of course, we do need to teach them responsibility, but we also need to teach them patience. Our children will model our behaviors...and modeling patience is a fundamental skill for a well rounded child and adult.
The next time your child is running behind, take a deep breath. Remember to be patient. You can still choose to stick to your time schedule and allow the consequences of your child's actions speak for themselves. However, sometimes you won't choose to do this, or possibly you CAN'T do this... and you will be late. This is the reality of parenting. All the lectures in the world won't fix your schedule...just vow to try again next time.
Remember, that one delayed moment could be the action that GIVES you a next time with your child... When I am frustrated because I want my child to be on my schedule, I often think of this man who learned patience through a very difficult experience. I stop, I sigh...and I think of one word: Patience! :)
Blessings to you!