Even kids attending school and college tend to be late for their classes quite frequently. And even though there might be many reasons for this unpunctuality, one can’t deny the fact that the issue usually stems from childhood and manifests itself in different areas as the kid grows up.
Unpunctuality is a trait that can cause several issues in a kid as he/she grows up, including irresponsibility. If you want your kid to grow up to be mature, responsible and punctual individuals, then you need to deal with the issue as and when it stems; childhood.
Ditch Old Methods
What do you do when you find that your kid is running late to school? Do you admonish him/her for not being punctual? Do you keep on asking him/her to hurry up by reminding him/her of the time repeatedly? Or do you simply rush him/her through the process of getting ready for school and end up doing most of his/her work for him/her?
If you identify with some or all of the above mentioned situations, then you are most probably sticking to old routines that do not work anymore. In addition to this, you would tend to give your kid the impression that your words mean nothing and that he/she can simply continue with the same routine every day.
Hence, this would be the right time for you to implement some changes around the household in order for your kid to learn the importance of punctuality. And here are a few tips to help you out with that.
Wake Him/Her up Earlier
If you find that waking up at a particular time is not getting him/her to school on time, wake him/her up at least a good half hour before the stipulated time for a change. Of course, the first few days would be hard and your kid would probably resent you for that.
But you can console yourself that he/she would be reaching the school with at least half an hour to spare. So even if your kid promises to get ready faster if you let him/her wake up at the same time as usual, don’t agree. This arrangement would not work out and before you know it, your kid will start getting late to school again.
Enforce Moral Responsibility
If your kid feels that he/she can sleep until you wake him/her up, then he/she is most probably taking you for granted. And that means blaming you for not waking him/her on time to reach school early.
Even though this behavior is acceptable during the initial stages, with time, your kid will grow with the same approach of blaming someone else for his/her actions.
So the next time you wake up your kid and he/she refuses to budge, don’t keep coming back to his/her bedroom every five minutes, or fighting with him/her to wake up. Give the first and final warning that you would not wake him/her a second time and that he/she would be solely responsible for being late to school.
Even though your kid would resent you for the first few days, with time, he/she would get accustomed to the practice of waking up on his/her own; a practice that would make him/her more responsible for his/her actions as he/she grows up.
Let’s take a classic example. Your kid gets up late even after repeated warnings and finds himself/herself running late for school. You admonish him/her, rant for about five minutes about his/her irresponsibility, and then offer to take him/her to school in your car.
This is where you commit the mistake of letting him/her realise that no matter what mistake he/she commits, you would always be there to cover up for him/her/. This thought would make them all the more irresponsible for their actions.
Reinforce in them the importance of responsibility and mutual accountability. If they don’t seem to heed your words, then take some serious action. Let’s take the previous example again. The next time your kid is late, refuse to drive him/her to school. Ask him/her to either walk to school (if the school is nearby that is) or find some other means of transportation (for older kids). Do this twice or thrice and your kid will realise that you mean business, and would start taking things into his/her own hands. This in turn would him/her more responsible in the days to come.