My goal in writing family posts is to inspire you to be the best wife and/or mom you can be! My mantra is marriage should be fun and your children should be a joy...and anything you can do to achieve that is worthwhile!
Awhile ago, I met a couple who taught parenting classes. There were a few issues with my kids that I did not have the answer to, and this couple gave Brett and I a great idea!
My kids are dawdlers. They do not move fast. Ever. Unless Caleb is running circles in the house.
I had no idea what to do about the dawdling because stopping to discipline would only make us later.
The idea they gave us: Hassle Time.
In short, kids have to make up for the time they cause me hassle.
When my (older) kids will not get dressed, put on their shoes, get into their carseats, come to the dinner table, etc....I say, "You're on the clock."
"You're on the clock" means that for every minute they don't do what I ask, they have to make the time up. They may not make up the time at the moment, but they will at some point during the day. The younger the child, the quicker it needs to happen.
Because I have explained to them what "hassle time" is (when they're not disobeying), when I say, "you're on the clock," they know exactly what that means. If they respond immediately, I stop the clock, and they don't have to make it up. But if it takes more than 15 seconds, they have to make it up...even if its just 1 minute.
Here are ways that my kids have to make up their time:
- when we get to our destination, if its a fun event (park, pool, etc), they sit out for the amount of time they caused hassle
- if the destination is a grocery store or something, making an older child sit in the cart or something like that works
- the child has to stay inside while the others go outside to play
- for Chloe, missing bath time is a bummer, so she can miss bath time. For Caleb, that would be a reward, so in order to effective, you have to make the child miss something they enjoy
- sit on the stairs while the other family members eat/play a game/watch TV
Hassle time is great because you can remain calm while your child is dawdling. The child has the power to decide how long they'll take to put on their shoes. Believe me, when they know park time is at risk, they'll move much quicker!!
It is sometimes hard to enforce hassle time, but once your kids serve their time a couple of times, they'll usually respond very quickly!
My kids also serve hassle time for doing dumb stuff that causes me extra hassle in my day...
- if they pee in their pants because they're too busy to stop playing to go
- if they color on the walls
- if they play with their food and cause a giant mess (not just the typical mess caused from young children)
However long it takes me to clean up their mess, they serve hassle time.
It probably goes without saying that Hassle Time does not work until kids are old enough to understand it! Luke, for instance, doesn't get hassle time when he runs away from me while I am trying to dress him.
Hassle Time is a great tool. It does not work for everything, but it does work!!
Try it. And let me know how it goes!