We’ve all been there – stuck between a clock relentlessly moving toward an appointment and a kid oblivious to time passing. Whether it’s being late to school, sports practice or a dentist appointment, kids moving slow when it’s time to go is maddening! Here are some helpful phrases to keep kids on track and keep parents from losing it.
Sometimes just knowing what words to say is all it takes to be able to be calm with your kids instead of losing your temper. This week I’m sending along three helpful phrases for when kids are moving slow and it’s time to go – take what works for your family, leave the rest.
Keeping Calm When Kids Are Moving Slow
Imagine you’re getting ready for school in the morning and you’ve asked your child to get his or her shoes on, and it’s just not happening. (In my house things like snuggling the chihuahua, rearranging stuffed animals, or following your sibling around telling them not to make you late, for instance, can distract from getting ready.)
Instead of yelling, breathe in, calm your voice and try one of these:
- Please follow directions quickly. This is a good one to use when your child is moving sooooo slow to get on the shoes.
- Please show me with your actions that you’ve heard me. This is useful for checking in to see if you’ve been heard and it gives you a calm response for when your child keeps saying, “I know! I heard you!” and yet still no movement is being taken towards getting shoes on feet.
- If you’ve already gone past calm and lost it about the shoes and now find yourself arguing with your child you can stop and say: Wait, let’s try this again. <<<You are allowed to catch yourself and start over. I think of it as a “do-over,” kind of resetting the stage for me and my child. You can pause, calm down a bit, apologize if need be and try again rather than thinking you have to finish what you started the same way you started it (by yelling).
Sure these aren’t magic words, they do not guarantee your child will cheerfully put on shoes. However, they help you maintain calm during the situation because instead of using energy to think of what to say, you can use energy to stay calm while repeating a simple phrase like “Please follow directions. Shoes on.”
Let me know if these are helpful phrases for you! Also, I’d love to know what phrases you use that help you to keep the peace], thanks!
For more on staying calm try these posts:
- How to Stay Calm and Get Your Child to Stop Yelling at You
- Resources for Learning to Use a Kind Voice – Even if You Have to Fake It
- The Difference of 17 Seconds