Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another Gray Hair? Ugh Parental Clock, Time, and Understanding It

Hmm...the days past by when your working and raising kids. Before you know it, your looking in the rear view mirror and notice that you have a grey hair-well actually several grey hairs. You think wow, haven't noticed those before. Well though I have noticed my greying, and I don't want to think that I'm getting older; my children remind me that I am and that my Parental Clock is slowly ticking down. What is a Parental Clock? The clock that times the beginning of your parental experience with each child until the end. Some call it the eighteen year sentencing or life- you know the bottom of the bell curve time. Either way, the time it takes for you to rear your child.

Why am I talking about time today? Well I have realized that although we know time is not a endless thing our children think it is. They feel that they will always have fun at least until they grow up. And if you asked them when is a grown up a grown up, most couldn't tell you. Now as a parent teaching the concept of time to your child it is a task that will require time-and a lot of it. It begins when they are infants with the crying and waiting on a response. The attentive parent will juggle between tending the child's needs and the tending of self. As the child becomes more independent, the longer the wait time will be, and the child we finally understand that "in a minute" does not mean in sixty seconds or less but varies from one person to the next. And with each passing moment, the concept of time will slowly be understood.

But how do you get your child to follow or least understand what your time means? By demonstrating the importance of time, telling them what it means, and following your own clock. For me a time follows a circle-like a clock. If I plan a party I expect people to be at least fifteen minutes late or earlier and it never ends at a given time. This doesn't bother me and actually makes things kind of relaxing. But for my lovely wife, her time is on a line (linear). She expect thing to start on time and end on time. If your late she gets upset and if your early she gets a little annoyed. Now this has caused some interesting conversations, but the children and I have learned to operated within boundaries. They have learned with mommy, she will get me to school on time, her in a minute means in a minute, and she expects the same. However; with daddy, he will get you to school near the time, but you may have to run to class, his in a minute means you got time to finish watching your television show, and he expects the same. Now the child will watch and learn, will see and relate things in special order. They will understand what show comes before and after their favorite show and understand the basic of morning, afternoon, and night. Using that as a great starter for getting the child to understand time. For example. SpongeBob comes on after Fairly Odd Parents (Nickelodeon shows), they happen before you get dinner, we eat dinner at 6:00pm, so they are afternoon shows. Using simple concepts like this helps the child understand time and how long it take for things to begin and end. And with practice, the child will be telling time in no time.


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