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Chronically late kids
February 2, 2014, 2:32 pm
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It is part of the nature of childhood and adolescence to be disorganized, and one of the consequences is that you will see kids who are late a lot. Remember, part of growing up and maturing is learning how to organize yourself and your life in a way that fits in with the world.  Here are ways to get your child on time.

Consequences not excuses: If you have a child who is chronically late for school, you could say, “We leave the house at eight am. If you are not ready, I’m going, and you can walk to school.” Let them take the bus, of if they miss the bus, let them walk to school. If your child is tardy or misses school, don’t give them an excused absence. Don’t write them a note. Tell the school what happened, and let your child pay the consequences for their lateness.

Use an alarm clock:  Put an alarm clock in your child’s room from an early age. This will teach them that they have the responsibility to wake up and follow a schedule. By It is easier if a schedule is introduced when someone is really young — it is part of the message to kids that they have to learn how to organize their lives as they grow.

Pay for lateness — literally: Another thing you can do, especially with younger kids, is to charge them for their lateness. So tell them, “For every minute we have to wait for you, you’re losing five minutes of video game time.” For older kids, it might be five minutes of cell phone time. And if you have to, make it ten minutes. This is effective because now, when your child makes other people late, there is some cost to them also. They feel it a little more. The important thing is to hold your child responsible in some measurable way. As kids get older, you really have to be very strong about these things, because later on in life when they’re employed or in college — when nobody’s keeping score or nagging them — they’re going to pay. If they haven’t internalized the need to follow a schedule and to respect the kind of structure it gives their life, there is a greater likelihood that they are going to fall behind and not meet their responsibilities.

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