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How to get from [ Habitually Last Minute ] to -> Ready on Time

March 6th, 2013 at 10:33 am

How many of you have raced through the streets to make it to a doctor appointment? school class? work? It's not good for your blood pressure, not to mention the risk of getting a ticket.

Running late isn't my style, which makes it all the harder to live with my maturing daughter. Unfortunately at a pretty young age, around 8 or 9 years old, I saw her developing the tendency to squeeze too much into the last minutes of a schedule. For example, trying to have breakfast in only the last 2 or 3 minutes before leaving for school (where at least 5 or 10 minutes was much more appropriate). Moms, you remember how stressful this could be?

Or making it to bed on time. If lights out was to be 9pm, getting pj's and brushing teeth would start too late at 8:50 and she wouldn't make it. Not to mention rushing was a great excuse to throw her clothes and stuff on the floor and leave any manner junk out to hurry into bed. This happened 95+% of the the time and has made for a very many unhappy bedtimes.

Oh through the years I've tried a variety of solutions: taking away fun things such as a girlscout event or meeting, $$ 'fines' or reduction of allowance, even the converse and giving a reward for getting it right. I figured those formative years were the time to instill good habits but she amazed me (secretly) and wouldn't be rushed, pushed, cajoled, punished, and even rewarded much. This character trait of doing things according to her own internal clock seems to have endured.

Oh, when it comes to homework, she is never late. It's just the 'little things' that are a problem and we have gone through the same scenario over and over and over again. The stress on me and the family has been pretty extensive.

So here we are at the teen years, and her personality is set. If anything, I give up more and more on the 'little things'. For example, though it is stupid and inconvenient, I just separate our schedules as much as possible.

But today is a test drive of a new program!

The Reality Show: Time is Money
(set up) teen wants to do 'X' event at a cost of '$'
Teen: I'd love to do the jump class before skate lesson on Wednesdays.
Mom: It is a tight schedule, the jump class is soon after you get home from school. Can you be on time?
Teen: Yes, of course!
Mom: Well you've missed some skate lessons by not starting soon enough on homework.
Teen: I'm never late with homework! I get all A's!!!!
Mom: Here's the deal, you pay for the class up front and each night you finish a class I will pay you back. You will earn the whole fee back in short order.
Teen: !! uh, ok

So there you have it. I don't have to pay for a class that is never attended, I don't have to push, nag, stress to get her there on time. And the lesson learned truly will be TIME is MONEY. I hope she will use her time wisely in getting ready for the class.

Now, apply this to any manner of other fee type situation and see how it works for you

3 Responses to “How to get from [ Habitually Last Minute ] to -> Ready on Time ”

  1. creditcardfree Says:

    I'll be interested to see how this works! I hope it is a lesson she takes to heart. Smile

  2. Carolina Girl Says:

    Great idea.

  3. mjrube94 Says:

    Woohoo! Great idea!

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