Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Explaining the concept of time to a toddler.

My daughter is at the stage where she has to be able to do things on her own and at her own pace.
DH doesn't seem to understand this as he's rushing out the door.
Ok, I don't like it but I understand it and that's probably because I am anal retentive.
So it does aggravate me that it takes 15 minutes for her to pack her backpack and close it when it would take me 30 seconds but I also know she needs to do this at her pace and on her own.
The rule is this, if you interrupt this high intensity time for her, you are essentially making it that much longer for your because you have to wait so she can start from the beginning again.  I totally get that.
It's not fun but the reality is, if you want your child to learn and be self-sufficient and develop strong confidence and self-reliance, you need to allot that time.
So if it takes you 30 minutes to get out of the house, tack on 15 minutes for putting on shoes or whatever else task that needs to get done.
This isn't an easy feat for anyone but most especially from my husband as he runs on DH time, which is essentially like the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland.

Add to this the fact that my daughter believes that anything happens whenever.  Take it as a negative of living in NYC, the city that never sleeps, or the negative of having a DVR or the internet where you can get whatever you want whenever you want or just the difficult concept of time that a child and adults need to understand and restrict themselves to.
Fact is, I have at least one conversation a day with my daughter explaining that 'Time waits for no man.'
So much so that now my daughter is saying this phrase consistently.  I don't think she understands it but she knows it deals with time and the concept of time or as she would say, "Like the purple Time book."  We have a book on time and we refer to it often.

Right now she believe breakfast is a meal but it is not relegated to the morning meal.  Hey, I love breakfast.  I think breakfast is not only my favorite word but my favorite meal of the day so I'm not fighting it.  She is learning that every day has a name and my favorite line regarding this is her response to Sunday, "Again?"  We talk about how every day has a number called a date.
The big concept that she's learning and that I guess all adults continue to learn is how every day we do things that allow us to do other things.  The biggest way to get this across is our bedtime routine.  I explain if we stay at the playground too long, then we will be late for dinner which will cut short our storytime at bedtime.  She seems to understand this but I don't think the whole actions/consequences is completely solid.  It's a hard concept to grasp especially when you are three and believe if you say you are not tired, you will win the battle against sleepiness.

I wonder how adding a newborn to the mix is going to add to our time chaos.  I may have to start a complete day in advance if I want to get anywhere on time.