Have you ever arranged to meet someone for lunch, only to have them show up 20 minutes late? While things happen that are out of our control, it is important to be punctual and respect the time of others. To help you teach your child how important it is to not be late, we’ve provided a few tips below. 

3 simple parenting tips for teaching your child to stop being late.

1. The earlier you start, the better.

We all know the struggle that is getting an unwilling child to go to bed on time, and having to wake that same sleepy child up in the morning. While it may seem your child despises structure, they really do appreciate the security that schedules provide them. You can begin teaching your child the importance of punctuality as soon as they’re born by working to get them on a good sleeping and feeding schedule. As they grow older explain why they’re going to sleep at that set time, why they must wake up on time in the morning, and list it clearly on their reward chart.

2. Provide an explanation.

When we tell our children not to do something, it is because we know from experience that what we’re saying is the best thing for them. However, we often forget that our children are not us. Therefore, it is important that we take the time to explain why we’re telling them what to do (or not do). For example: If you’re telling your teen to make sure they are not late for dinner, explain why it’s so important to you. You can tell them it’s important because you all lead busy lives, and you appreciate having time to enjoy dinner with them. If you’re expecting guests for dinner, you can remind your teen of how important it is to respect the time of other people.

3. Be flexible.

As much as we prepare and plan for things, we can’t always help what life throws our way. Knowing this, it’s important that we not be too hard on ourselves. If you find yourself running late due to unexpected traffic, accept that it was out of your control. If your children are with you, use that as a time to teach. Remind them that you did your best, but you can’t control everything. By not stressing out, you’re teaching your children that while it’s important to not be late, it’s equally important to recognize when you’ve done your absolute best and accept that.