Where Does the Time Go?
So where does the time go? You, me, the couple on the street, we’re all busy people. We’re busy paying bills, busy sleeping. We’re busy at school, or taking the kids to and from school. Or busy shopping, getting everything we need. We’re busy cleaning, taking care of the home. How many of you clean the house yourself because you cannot get your kids involved? We’re going to talk about that in a later section. Cooking, taking care of feeding the family, taking care of their needs – you’re busy doing all of these things every day, around and around and around. You just keep doing these things all the time. You, me, the couple on the street, we’re all busy, busy people.
The thing is, it doesn’t have to be this way. You can actually learn to save time. When you learn to save time, it gives you more time to train and teach and to take some of these slower, but more long-term approaches to behavioral issues, simply by how you manage and view your time.
Three Major Time Wasters
1. Constantly checking email: Facebook, text messages and taking phone calls.
2. Focusing on short-term corrections instead of the long-term effects of positive discipline
3. Repeating the same battles over and over again.
Some of the things that we do – and a lot of people, myself included – we all have these devices. You know, Blackberry, iPhone, and we’re able to check our email wherever we want, our Facebook, our text messages. How many of you have ever been on a fun family activity and you took your iPhone with you and checked your email? Or your Facebook?
I have a friend at Disneyland right now. They’re giving us hourly Facebook updates. Who is that for? Do I really need to know what they are doing at Disneyland? Or could they just put their phone away? Could they lave it in their hotel room and just go and enjoy Disneyland for a bit? Put it away. You don’t need it.
On a daily basis, how many times do you check your email in a day? How many times do you log into Facebook? How many times to respond to text messages? How many times do you take phone calls when you are right in the middle of something? If the phone rang in the middle of a family dinner, would you get up and answer it? Or would you let it ring? If you’re having one-on-one time with your spouse or partner, or if you’re down playing with the kids and the phone rings, what would you do? Would you answer it? Or would you put it aside for later?
Sometimes this is completely unconscious but it is a huge productivity issue. I’ve had to condition myself to actually only check email, Facebook and text messages a couple of times a day. I’ve had to do some work to rearrange my entire schedule so that that works. Everyone is being taken care of, but when I’m with my family, I get to be with them 100%. It was interesting to notice how many of the behavior issues that I was having before disappeared simply because I was able to spend more time with them. But even when I was spending that time, it was more focused. They knew I wasn’t distracted and it made a difference.
What if you didn’t check your email every five minutes? What if you only checked it twice a day? What if you didn’t carry your iPhone around with you all the time? Focus 100% on being there. When you’re at work, you can focus 100% on being there. Your family will notice. The behavior will change when they do.
The other big time waster is focusing on short-term corrections instead of the long-term effects of positive discipline. Do you remember when I was talking about negative versus positive discipline, and how it can seem like how the negative approaches are the way to go because we get an immediate response. Instant gratification, if you will, that instant feedback and “correction” to the behavior. When we do that, we’re completely ignoring the long-term effects of positive discipline. Taking the time to train and to teach, to allow them to make make their own choices. To allow them to learn from natural consequences. We often fall into this trap of, “Who has time for this?” And just end up going back to the negative way because it’s faster. Then you can work it out in therapy.
But you can take the time. What happens is, this is a mind trick, if you were to actually take the time up front, it doesn’t take very long until you don’t have to spend time on that issue anymore. Now we’ve saved that time down the road. The child has learned to behave in a certain way and we don’t have to battle them anymore.
The third major time waster is repeating the same battles over and over again without doing anything new to change it. How many of you have had this situation, where you feel like you’re just repeating the same things over and over again? Why doesn’t this ever change? Hello, it doesn’t change because nothing is different. There is nothing new. When you introduce something new, your child is going to have a different reaction to that thing. And you get to assess whether that reaction means things are better or worse. But you have to change something. You have to do something new, or there will never be improvement.
That’s one of the reasons I put the Blissful Parenting program together, so that it would help parents find that something new. The truth is, it’s different for everybody. That’s why in the program we have thirty different tools that we teach. It’s like filling up your toolbox with tools, so depending on your situation, depending on what’s going on, you can select the most appropriate tool at the right time. So there’s no easy answer to this. All we know is that you have to do something new and you will know what that something is if you fill your toolbox full of all different kinds tools that can help you adapt to a situation.