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The Tyranny of Now

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The Tyranny of Now

Imagine being in the middle of an argument with your child about what chores they need to complete. Do you have a picture of that in your mind? I'm guessing it would show anger and frustration rising as well as unhelpful things being said by both your child and yourself.

Why is it when faced with a difficult situation that we feel we must deal with the situation in that moment? As far as I can tell there is nothing that I have seen that would suggest that we need to address issue with our child immediately when they occur.

In the old days there was the "wait till your father gets home". While I don't encourage fathers always having to play the heavy, the idea of delaying dealing with a difficult situation with your child may not be such a bad idea.

Here's why.

When we or our child is emotionally upset, you will not be able to effectively work through a problem anyways--the emotional part of the brain will be in charge not the thinking part.

By delaying making a decision, you give yourself the luxury of time to think through your options and make a more informed decision. This will prevent you from parenting by emotion which usually results in consequences frequently escalating with a child.

For many children just the idea of having to wait for how parents are going to respond misbehavior may not be such a bad thing. A little anxiety particular on the part of the child will keep them guessing as well as you modeling to them the need to calm down before addressing important issues in the family.

Give it a try and give yourself the gift of time.

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