Listen, I've been there. Trying to get as much done before getting to my appointment on time. The school zones, the traffic, the accidents, the road construction- the unexpected " I need to poop right now Mommy!!". It doesn't end and it can be difficult sometimes to calculate just the right amount of time to get from point A to point B.
No, I am not giving a free pass to parents to come late to our hourly sessions. Nor am I saying multi-task or squeeze in as many activities/responsibilities as you can to increase the likelihood that you'll be late.
And no, I am not devaluing the hour that we have or that I have with your child in session. This is an important hour in the entire week that can set an intention, can change a years long mindset, and start the drums beating to a different tone.
It's also okay. I imagine you rushing through traffic, heart beating, thinking or saying out loud, " We are so late for Eva's appointment!" Maybe cursing a bit or not- depending on the stress level- and your child- sitting in the backseat taking it all in. And I think that this is a teachable moment. What do we teach our children when we stress out about things out of our control? I mean, I guess, we can always go back and say - "I should've left earlier, left the dishes, work, taken another route" and okay so now you know for next time- but is it worth harping on it? Is it worth beating yourself or your child up verbally about it? Mathieu Riccard, a French biochemist turned monk said " Our control of the outer world is limited, temporary, and often illusory" .
Taking responsibility over things outside of our realm of control is a huge unnecessary weight on our shoulders and a battle that we may never win. Getting riled up about these events when there is nothing you can do at the moment to get to my office any sooner is a release of stress but sending a message that you or your child are supposed to be able to control the outcome of events. What if- instead of the simmering thoughts of absolutism - we won't get a chance to talk about this important thing, or she's going to think I don't care, or this is a waste because we are late" you take it in as a process. Teach your child healthy responsibility by letting me (or whoever else you are supposed to meet) that you are running late and try to take the moment as a teachable one for the future.
Dr. Eva Benmeleh
I am a licensed clinical child psychologist in Hallandale Beach. I hope you enjoy the site!
221 West Hallandale Beach Blvd., Suite 202
Hallandale, FL 33009