It can be difficult for us grown-ups to understand how differently time is perceived by a toddler, a child, or even a teenager.
More often than not, our adult lives are just a hectic rush between one responsibility and another - and it seems that it all gets faster and faster as the years go by. Anyone who has tried to get a young child ready for anything will understand the frustration. How come they don’t have any sense of urgency? Why can’t they see that we’re in a hurry and act accordingly?
On the other hand, we come into contact with all sorts of advice telling us that our lives and our mental health would improve if we took time to savour each moment, rather than constantly living in the future or the past. And guess what - our children are much more likely to be living in the moment than we are. It just might be a differently experienced moment.
We are increasingly agitated at even the smallest delay in our lives, whether instigated by our children or by an outside influence, impatience is a growing problem, but the most effective way to mitigate it might be by paying more attention to our children.
Everyone has a different pace. We all know people who hurtle around at breakneck speed, irritating us with their ability to get more done that we can manage in the same amount of time. Or there are those who need more time to deal with any task or question, and who drive mad those of us who put stock in getting things done quickly and efficiently.
The truth, of course, is that we all move to the beat of a different drummer. Young children are likely to need a slow and regular 4/4.
They need time, there’s a lot of work going on in those brains and they’re not yet able - nor should they be - to fire at the same pace of those of us who’ve been practising for decades. So take a deep breath, let them take the time the need - it may even teach you something to slow down and give yourself some time to absorb and process new information.
Let things take the time they take.