Sometimes being late is unavoidable. A traffic accident, an unexpected problem on transit, a small catastrophe at home in the morning. Nobody is perfect, nobody is always on time. There are even studies suggesting people who are always late are highly creative and likely to be successful. But when it comes to young children in school, it’s important to consider the consequences of chronic lateness, the messages you may be unintentionally sending, and the future habits you may be laying foundations for. Being constantly late can adversely affect a child’s learning, their emotions, and everyone in the environment to which they are arriving late. A circle time, a quiet work period, a group lesson, etc., can be well underway when a child arrives, and consequently, not only has the child missed valuable time to learn, their arrival interrupts all the students present, who have already settled and worked hard to achieve focus, especially in the early years when children often arrive crying, or needing a high level of assistance from teachers.
Here are some very helpful articles on dealing with chronic lateness. The first notes the consequences, the second contains strategies for how to avoid it. The third is the experience of a real family with kindergarten age children, implementing those strategies in “real life”. Because we all know how different that can be!
Effects of Tardiness on Your Child’s Education
De-Stress Your Morning Routine
One Family’s Experience