I read a book once that mentioned a sign posted in a kindergarten classroom, "Start out slow and taper off." It's good advice.
There's a natural sense of timing in the world that is slower than my habits. When one of my boys was in middle school, I was rushing him one day, and he looked at me and said, 'You know Mom, I hurry all day." He explained the rush to get off the bus, to get from one class to another in 3 minutes in crowded halls, to get to practice, to run faster, to get home and do homework. That was a deep teaching for me.
The world, whether it's school or activities, teams, social media, won't help our kids to operate at their natural speed. But we can. Even when there are time constraints, we can our cultivate an unhurried, spacious inward approach. This minimizes the drama of parent-child interactions and things usually actually get done more efficiently. For me, as the intent to be present in each moment gets stronger, my ability to be spacious with kid timing has naturally developed.
This starts with inner awareness, getting very clear about time constraints and how to handle them. Simple information and agreements can support the practical part of timing. "Guys, we need to leave by 9. Do you need help being ready?" Things won't always go as planned, but a simple plan helps.
Ive needed to work with the hurrying, anxious, pushing energy inside of myself rather than let it control the morning. I feel the energy in my body and consciously choose how to respond to it. Sometimes it needs an outlet so I do something that will use it up ( by by taking the compost out to the back yard, getting laundry organized which takes me up and down the stairs a few times, or walking around dusting). Sometimes I just need to notice how it feels and breathe into it for a bit. Other times I acknowledge the feeling and remind myself that it's okay, that I feel like this nearly every day and somehow it works out. Often I need to offer a quiet and calm reminder to my kids.
No matter how young or old a child is, rushing is not a great practice. As parents, when we create a slower flow, things still get done. And our children learn, without emotional drama, how to work with time limitations.
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness helps me find peace with my imperfect journey--being with myself as I truly am, loving my family as they are, and showing up for a messy world with openness and compassion.