Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My 20 Minute Rule

I hate disappointing my kids. I avoid it if at all possible. I used to tell them: "Guess where we're going on Thursday?! We're going to the zoo with Aunt Jamie and your cousins!" Then one of her kids would get sick and I'd have to say: "Well we're not going after all, sorry!"

I hated doing that. Life will have plenty of disappointments and my kids will have lots of opportunities to develop flexibility (after all, they have 6 siblings!). I control what I can.
I give them 20 minutes notice for any exciting activity. I plan to take them to the zoo this morning and I can hardly wait to tell them. But I haven't told them yet. I'll tell them 20 minutes before we need to leave. ;)


~*~ Jennifer ~*~ said...

See -- you are a smart woman! I use this rule too... some what. But I might adjust mine down to 20 mintues. I usually only tell them the DAY OF. LOL

Once my kids could read the calendar -- I started writing in CODE! Those sneaks...

It also helps keep other's reputations built up - in their minds. It was hard to always explain... well -- they aren't TOTAL BUMS... just ya know... every once in a while. After one said, "Isn't grandma a man of her word?" I instituted this rule ;)

Jamie Wooddell said...

I don't tell them until we are in the car most of the time.

MInTheGap said...

I can definitely understand this-- though it's usually things outside of our control that change our plans. Other people's arrangements.

The positive side of telling them is teaching them to deal with disappointment as well as the prodding to actually carry it out some other day.

MommaofMany said...

I usually tell the kids a day before doing something fun. That way they can savor the idea and have the fun of the excitement building, but I don't have to hear, "How long until..." or deal with the disappointment of broken plans too often.

You'll grow some spontaneous kids with this rule! :)

sleepyhahas said...

Okay, ya, but when do our kids get a chance to look forward to something? When can they dream and think about and be excited about what is to come? The only one who won't disappoint is Christ, and I think we can appreciate Him more when we know that everyone else at some point will...

I've been battling this one for a while...I concluded somewhat that for people who almost always disappoint, I tell them on the way or right before. When they can use a surprise, I don't tell them at all. But for the most part, I think anticipation is a good thing, and so is coping with disappointment.



Ginger said...

When do my kids have a chance to look forward to something?
They have a calendar in their room and they know how to read it. They cross out the days every night before bed. They look forward to the things that are constant:
their birthdays
4th of July
church on Sunday
Homeschool Co-op on Fridays
etc. etc.

I'm not too worried about their ability to anticipate events. :)

Mariposa said...

I love this rule!
I try to not tell mine too far ahead of time, either.

Naomi O'Donovan said...

That's a great idea! I'll have to try that one!

ecrawfor80 said...

I used to do this and have gotten myself into trouble a few times lately by telling too early. I have trouble getting motivated to get out of the house to things so often I'll tell them to hold myself accountable...make sure I get my behind going and out the door.