The One Thing I am Going to Try to Stop Telling Our Kids Today

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Schedules are crazy, life is messy, and sometimes we run late – like, a lot of the time (even right now – I was going to write this last week). In spite of our best efforts, and all of the super-cute calendars, it seems that I heard myself telling our littlest one to ‘hurry up’ on a pretty regular basis. Hurry up so we can get there, hurry up so we can get back, hurry up, hurry up, hurry up! She usually does pick up the pace to some degree with my insistence, but at what cost?

Most of the time we are telling our little ones to move along, it’s because they are doing something in a less than time-efficient manner. In other words, they are being kids. One of the greatest things about childhood is the insatiable curiosity – the irrepressible imagination and the belief in the possibility of all things. Where does that spirit of wonder and awe go? Why don’t I know any grown-ups that are as happy to get up in the morning as our 8-year-old is?


I am afraid that we are scheduling it out of them. We are signed up for this and that and everything runs on a calendar designed by grown-ups and for the convenience of other grown-ups. I love that our daughter thinks that she can smell rainbows – maybe she can. I don’t remember what the book says about rainbows although I am sure it must have been covered. Maybe if I hadn’t been in such a hurry I could have smelled it too.

So, going forward, I am going to try to stop telling her to ‘hurry up’ so much, and start noticing what she’s doing that is slowing her down. One morning she was running late because she had to rotate her stuffed animals so that the one’s on the desk got to go to the bookcase, and the one’s on the bookcase went to the bed, thus moving the one’s on the bed to the desk. Sure, they make pills that would probably stop her from trying to keep things fair for the stuffed animals, and probably even one’s that would take the smell out of the rainbows. But I really like those things about her.

The magic is in her spirit and her ability to notice the most mundane of details and appreciate them all. So, we are going to start helping her spend her time on the things that are important to her by reminding her of what all she needs to do to get out the door for school in time to be there when the bell rings – she wants to be there, she just gets a little lost in the moment sometimes. This fall she has her own list of the things that she knows she’s responsible for and I am going to leave it at that. If she happens to miss a sock or we don’t get to a lesson exactly on time, I am not going to yell ‘hurry up’. I would rather live in those moments with her than to pull her along into the next one. The house won’t fall apart in a week and we can always re-evaluate our new system of honoring her creativity and play.




  1. Alison Gibb says

    As soon as I saw what this post was about, I remembered! My son is all grown up now but “hurry Up” was something I said all too often. It is such a fast paced world now and it is sad!

  2. says

    I have often found it ironic how I used to behave like a sergeant major getting my kids out of the house to take them somewhere so that they could have fun – when they were already having fun playing and I was interrupting them! It’s good to slow down and abandon the structure when you can….

  3. says

    Trust me… you want to do that. I’ve got older kids and when they start going away to college you simply want those days back when they were little. Just stop and breathe and… smell the rainbows.

  4. says

    This is beautiful. I don’t have kids yet but I know I will be a “hurry up” mom. What a better perspective to have on life in general let alone in parenting!

  5. says

    I love that you have taken a second look at this notion of hurry up. Adults do not like to hear this phrase so I imagine kids do not like it any better. Maybe it is our kids who are supposed to teach us to slow down a little rather than us adults teaching them to hurry up, right? What a compassionate little girl you have that she takes the time to rotate her stuffed animals so they can get proper rest!

  6. says

    It can be so hard to remember to slow down and just enjoy the things that make kids, kids. I love when you do, you tend to remember what it was like to see the world with so much wonder. Even the clouds can be amazing if you just stop to look.

  7. CourtneyLynne says

    I use to be sorta bad when it came to this. I have gotten better though & try to let my daughter enjoy things a tad longer if it’s what makes her happy :)

  8. says

    I agree with your thoughts on this matter.
    It is hard for us adults to realize that children are not mini adults and we should take the time to enjoy them a nd also let them enjoy just being.

    Thank you for sharing.

  9. says

    I am so guilty of this. We are always in a rush to get from one place to the next, and I know that I can make it less stressful if I prepare better–and wake up earlier.

  10. Angelic Sinova says

    This is a great idea! If it’s one thing I’ve learned since I’ve gotten older it’s that, yes, having a schedule is good but sometimes life doesn’t go as planned so why not stop, take a breath and just enjoy the now <3

  11. says

    I am so guilty of this. I haven’t really stopped to think about the impact that me hurrying the kids has. I have made it a point last school year to try to get them on schedule ahead of time, so that we are not late to school.

  12. Rosey says

    My DIL is so so so good about this… in the beginning it was hard for me to stop for five minutes while the little one explored a leaf in the grass (especially if I was trying to hurry). But now…I’m really enjoying those kinds of things. :)

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