Students At Home

For Everyone Who Learns at Home

Is Waiting Necessary?

on April 14, 2012

When I’m busy writing for my paying job, I sometimes ask my children to wait.  In many cases, I finish typing the sentence or thought that was on my mind, save the document then comply with their request.  Other times, I am so absorbed in an interesting  assignment or meeting the deadline that I forget what my child wanted.  In many cases, they either move on to something else or get whatever they needed themselves.  While I try not to make ignoring them a habit, it happens.  

My husband totally disagrees with my philosophy to ask the children to wait.  If they want something, he thinks they should get it right away.  Admittedly, they usually do want something to eat or drink.  Other times, one might want to get online while the other asks for help assembling a toy.  Their requests are not unreasonable, and I stay home so they can do school and be taken care of…by me.  Yet, my work is also a priority. 

This week, he and I had a rather heated discussion about this topic.   I’m not sure we will ever totally agree, but after our discussion,  I found myself worrying that I am being too selfish by asking them to wait.  Maybe my husband is right and I should immediately stop whatever I’m doing so I can help them right away. 

My more practical side jumped in with arguments of why waiting is good.  By asking them to respect my project, they learn to value others.  Waiting at home prepares them for the hours they must wait in life…waiting in line at the grocery store, waiting on the telephone for customer service to answer the call, waiting to save money to buy something they want but do not need.   With these arguments, I think asking them to wait is actually helpful and a valuable life skill.  “Just let me finish typing this thought” is a phrase my students at home will be hearing more often this week!

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8 responses to “Is Waiting Necessary?

  1. westendbaby says:

    Of course you are absolutely right to do this – patience is such an important quality that is becoming all too rare these days! Stick to your guns and you will be doing your children a favour in teaching them this I think!

  2. alimama says:

    I also agree that patience is a very important quality much needed throughout life!

  3. Yup, I think you’re totally right and I do it all the time. But of course, everything in moderation! And sometimes, I too forget what they wanted (because I’m also finishing typing a thought for my blog!!) and then I feel bad. I feel a bit negligent and it is sometimes food they’ve asked for. But they aren’t starving, at all, and the main thing to let your husband know is that you are care deeply for your children and will never neglect them in any at all serious way but that you also have a right to a life of your own and it’s a balance that’s very challenging to get right but that you take the challenge seriously and will always, ultimately, put their needs before your own. Remember on a plane that if the oxygen masks fall down, you have to put your own on before your child’s – because you can’t help your child if you are dying! So, we parents do need to look after ourselves too, but it’s a fine line and it’s important we try hard to walk it carefully!

  4. In addition to teaching patience, requesting that your child wait shows them that they need to respect your time and projects and acknowledge that they are important. They see that your role extends beyond mother and that your duties are not exclusive to taking care of them. One thing that you can do before you begin to work is let your child know that you will unavailable and to only interrupt if it’s very important. (You may want to define what important is as well.) If they are old enough to write, ask them to write down anything else and you will address it when you are done. This way no one forgets and the writing fulfills the need your child has to express themselves at that moment. Plus it’s good practice!

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