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Monday, April 18, 2011

It's Working! So Far...

I don't know about you, but I have tried every tried and true technique I know or have read about to get my girls out the door on time.  We go over the next day's schedule the night before.  In the morning,  we talk about the way the day needs to go in order to get out the door on time.  

I let them know about an hour ahead of time that we are going to have to leave and that they need to have "teeth, hair, shoes" done by a certain time.  Another "heads up" comes 15 minutes before we have to walk out the door.  It's like pulling teeth to get them out the door when we need to be somewhere!  

My husband often (gently) tells me I have set my expectations too high for our girls and that I desire too much from them too soon in their lives.  I believe that...sometimes.  But now that our sweet daughters are 8 and 11, almost 9 and 12, I don't think getting out the door in a state that doesn't resemble just getting out of bed is all that much to ask.  (Am I alone here??)

Mind you, I realize that I am the only Type A personality in my family and I know that I'm a bit of an overachiever sometimes, but my goodness...

Ok, so one day last week I had had enough.  That's putting it lightly I'm afraid.  It was a crazy busy day for me and I was trying to meet a deadline and by late afternoon, we had to go to an appointment.  So, like usual, I let them know an hour ahead that we were going to be leaving the house.  Forty-five minutes later, do you want to know where I found my youngest?

She was lying on her stomach, feet in the air, munching a cookie, and reading a book very happily.  So, I say to her, "we have to leave in 15 minutes - have you brushed your teeth and hair?"  (I knew the answer already, but I have to ask, right?)  She of course, had not, and didn't seem in any hurry to do so.  Ten minutes later, she was still in the same place!

Ok, fast forward...we are in the van, we're going to be late for the appointment, and I'm not exactly in the greatest of moods.  

Now, I am going to preface these next statements with this:  our girls don't have cell phones, hand-held electronic games, or the like, so when it comes to taking a privilege away from them, it can be somewhat of a challenge.

However, they do receive 30 minutes of computer time per day.  So....

I explained (calmly) to them that day in the van that starting the following day, a new "rule" was in effect.  

For every minute they are late getting out the door, they will lose 10 minutes of their computer time.  (Gasp!)  So, if they are 3 minutes late getting out the door, they lose all of their computer time for that day.

Yes, I know, some of you are saying in your mind, "isn't that a little harsh when they only get 30 minutes anyway?"  It may seem that way, but let me say this...I am at the point where I believe the consequences have to be enough to motivate them.  

Guess what?  The next several days when we had to be somewhere at a specific time, they were ready early Whoopee!!  (Ok, I never say that, but it expresses my elation!)

It's far...

What techniques do you use to get your children out the door on time?

All my best to you!


Marie @ Chocolate-Covered Chaos said...

I agree...the consequences have to motivate them! Our boys don't have a huge problem getting out the door on time, but we have other issues. They each have 30 minutes of "free time" at night before bed. They can use the computer, read quietly in their room, watch a show on netflix, etc. Basically, they need to be in their room, but they don't have to go to sleep. That seems to be valued by them quite a it's the privilege they lose if things go wrong that day.
Glad it's working for ya! :)

Marianne said...

My girls are a bit younger than yours. Almost 2 and 7, but the 7 year old has a few things we can take away if she doesn't behave. Stuffed animals, other toys. We don't have a set time on how long she can watch tv or play her games, but she has to finish all her chores before she gets to use them.
In the morning she has to be ready to get out the door before she gets to read, play or watch a little bit of tv. In the afternoon she has to have done all her homework and chores before getting to do anything else.
This really gets things done and helps us get ready and out the door if we need to.

Lisa said...

NO! You are not too harsh. I did the exact same thing a couple months ago. Yes, privilages are hard to take away here too. Yesterday I woke Meredith up and told her to get her shower. She moved at a snail's pace. So I gave her a 10 minute warning. She came out of her room, hair soaking wet and I said, "Get in the van!" SHe went to church without breakfast and her hair wet. She hated it! So, it's not a Type A personality. It's just being considerate and being on time!

TanyasTreasureTrove said...

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Karen said...

Love the idea! My oldest son - he's almost 8 - dilly dallies like it's an Olympic Sport. He loves his 'screen time' so this might be a great way to motivate him.

Megan said...

I understand your frustration completely!! My 7 year old can waste time like you wouldn't believe and I get tired of telling her over and over again what to do. I think I'll need to implement your idea! Thanks for sharing :)

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