People Just as Crazy as Me

Monday, March 31, 2014

Take your time...

http://nspt4kids.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/homework-stress.jpg

Take your time is something we say to Emry on a daily basis. His teachers tell him the same. 
We always hear, "Emry is a bright kid, and he is super intelligent. He'd be unstoppable if he'd just slow down."

So, we ask him to take a breath, to stay with the class, to focus on each problem on a test. We take him to karate and try to enforce that focus and discipline are important. And if used correctly, can help you to achieve great things.

And, then I realized... his lack of focus, is sort of, my fault. 

His rush to finish, rush to get it done... is my fault. 

And as much as karate teaches him these valuable aspects... it's also part of the problem.

How so?

Because, we have to rush to get to there.
Which means, we have to rush to get home, rush to eat dinner, and rush to get all the way over to the dojang. . . . then we rush to get home, rush to get in the bath... and rush to get him into bed.

How am I helping teach him to slow down, and focus, when I am running him around like a puck on an air hockey table?

You're right. I'm not. I'm teaching him to go through things quickly.. just for the sake of getting them done.

This was a HUGE realization this past week. Light bulbs went off and everything.

So, after discussing with his teacher possible options to rectify this... It came down to one clear answer.

We need to extend his bedtime, and put time between each nightly event. To teach him that everything isn't a race. And that taking his time with all things (from dinner to bath time) is very important. 

He's a kid... Heck, he's MY kid... and not a part of my OCD schedule that I can fit in a time slot. 
He has feelings, and he gets tired too. I knew these things, but, this life we lead... well... it blurred that for a bit.

This past weekend, well technically since this past Wednesday evening, we have tried extending our time... And on this past weekend, we even had some time to just Hang out... and relax together. 

And truth be told, I still got everything done. A little later than I would have liked; a little later than my energy would allow.. But, it got done. 

Now, it's getting Emry used to the fact that this extra time, is for him to relax, so that he can focus on the important things. The first and second night were interesting. 

Particularly Thursday night: In which, I started to realize that he was going to try and take advantage of this "later bedtime, so I can take more time to do everything." 

I had to remind him that just because we were going to take our time and do periods of rest between each aspect of our evening, that he was not to take advantage of it. (IE: when he tried to make 3 chicken nuggets, a handful of grapes and some Cheez-its last 30 minutes)

He got the point, and doing this schedule, we had an extra 45 minutes before bath time to do anything he wished. So, we played with Bey Bladez (look it up, it's a waste of money, but the kids sure love them) and a game of Uno. 

The way it is looking is that on Karate Nights the following loose schedule applies:
  • Pick up at after school program and go home.
  • Pick out dinner and eat.
  • Remaining time used for relaxing and getting dressed for Karate.
  • Karate class 6p (got to leave the house by 5:25p at the latest)
  • Come home, do homework. 
  • Have snack and relax
  • Take bath
  • Read a book and bedtime.
Seems kind of nuts right? But those two extra areas of relaxing/chill time will help when it comes down to doing the homework and actually taking the bath.

Then there are the nights where we are Karate Free:
  • Pick up at after school program and go home.
  • Relax/Read a book (20 minutes or so)
  • Pick out dinner and eat.
  • Watch some tv/relax (20 minutes or so)
  • Homework. 
  • Relax and Have a Snack (depending on how long hw takes up to 45 minutes)
  • Take bath
  • Read a book and bedtime.

These three areas of relaxing/cool down time... Also makes things less structured. Give a sense of breathing between activities.

This means that we extended his bedtime until about 8/830p....... Which in my opinion is a little late for a 7 year old. But, if I remember correctly, I started staying up that late when I was around 8 years old, so I guess I'm not so far off.

Now bedtime is a loose term. The time above is the time that he is supposed to be in his room and in his bed. If he chooses to read longer, or listen to his radio.. that's fine... We just want him laying down by that time. If that makes sense.

So far, he hasn't been super tired for school the next day.

And as his teacher says, Emry never runs out of energy, so perhaps the extra hour up will take away some of these High Energy moments.

Honestly, this is hard for me... because, the way I am, I want to get stuff done and then relax. The stopping and starting just makes me more tired. But, Emry isn't me... And he's only 7.... And I have to cater to his personality as well.

Parenting sure is fun. **SARCASM ALERT**

He's my world, and I need to remember that... I'm doing all of this for him... So he can be happy and healthy. So he can have a care-free childhood.

The best thing about a plan, is that you can always change it...
I have to remember that once something works, and our schedule is easy.... That at a moments notice it can change.... and we have to make a new plan of action. And that is OKAY.


~KVS~


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