Meeting Them Halfway – Getting Home On Time

One of the great things I love about living in our neighbourhood is that our kids have lots of opportunities to hang out with friends their own age.  The one thing we don’t love is having to collect them and bring them home.  Inevitably, we have asked them to come home right before suppertime.  Understandably, this is also when our house is at its busiest.

We tried going over what time they should come home and about telling whomever they are visiting what time supper is.  This method met with almost no success.  A number of their friends do not have English speaking caregivers and the message just did not get through.  And at five and six years of age, Goose and I are not sure that they can be self-aware enough to keep an eye on the clock.

So, we have devised a way to meet them halfway.

We bought them each inexpensive, digital watches with an alarm.  Before leaving the house, I set the alarm and remind them of the agreed upon departure time.  The system has had a  few hiccups and a learning curve.  There were typical excuses ‘I didn’t hear the alarm go off”  ‘My watch must not be working’  ‘I was having too much fun to come home.’

We worked through all of them and now the system works incredibly well.  The kids now take responsibility for coming home on time and I am no longer trying to track them down.  Praise for being so responsible is generously poured on their smiling little selves upon their return.  In hindsight, the solution was pretty simple.  All the months of banging our heads against the wall ended within a couple of weeks.

Such a simple thing.  Child’s play really.

What types of solutions have fellow parents come up with to help your children succeed?

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