How to Teach Punctuality to Children
There is nothing more obnoxious than an adult who is always late. This bad habit can affect an adult’s career and relationships in a negative manner. Early childhood offers many opportunities to teach children their place in a relationship to others. Taught early, children can develop good traits such as being punctual and honoring others’ time.
  1. Be a good example. Tell your child when you are working on a deadline to be on time and why you feel it is important. Try your best to get places on time, or even a bit early, and remark how good it makes you feel to be punctual.
  2. Point out negative tardiness in others when you see it happen. Without being harshly judgmental, explain to your children that being late can be hurtful and self-centered. Especially when someone is late for them, show them that what they are feeling is how others feel when they are late.
  3. Reward good punctual behavior with compliments and treats. Positive reinforcement is always the best teacher.
  4. Allow children to experience consequences when they are late. They may lose a chance to go to a special place because they miss a ride, lose their place in line or miss out on a coveted seat at the table. Don’t rush to make things right when your children are not punctual due to their own behavior.
  5. Teach children how to pace themselves and how to project how much time is needed to be prepared for a ride or responsibility. Watch the clock with them when they are dressing or bathing, and point out how long it typically takes them. Tell them when you see them procrastinating.

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