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Time After Time: What NOT to Say to Your Kids When They’re Late Transcript

Please note: Transcripts for the No Guilt Mom Podcast were created using AI. As a result, there may be some minor errors.

JoAnn Crohn: saying all the should haves, it’s not solving the actual issue of the lateness.

Brie Tucker: And for our kids, that, that, like, right? just presenting to them that they should have done something that they didn’t do doesn’t help them. Build that problem solving skill.

JoAnn Crohn: Yeah. And it’s making an assumption on what the cause of the problem is

Welcome to the No Guilt Mom podcast. I am your host, JoAnn Crohn, joined here by the delightful Brie Tucker

Brie Tucker: Why, hello, hello everybody. How are you?

JoAnn Crohn: Today, Brie, we’re talking about one of your favorite topics.

Brie Tucker: What, what is it? 

JoAnn Crohn: Being late!

Brie Tucker: Oh yeah, I’m an expert at that one.

JoAnn Crohn: We

Brie Tucker: Oh

JoAnn Crohn: We tease It’s good natured teasing, but I feel like you own up to it and you tease yourself about being late as well.

Brie Tucker: yeah, like I just wrote something and I don’t even remember what I wrote it for where I was all like it’s, oh it was a, yeah, an ad where I was like yeah, I leave the house at 7. 58 to make it to an 8 a. m. meeting at 30 minutes away. That’s me. That’s how I roll. My, my kids use Life 360 to figure out how late I’m going to be at picking them up. So, you know.

JoAnn Crohn: My, my kids want to use Life 360 on my husband for that reason, that exact reason to see where they are, see where he is, and then to know like where they need to be. But it’s funny. Like I remember when we were picking up stuff for the retreat last year, you’re like, I’m on my way. And I’m like, you have just left your house, haven’t you? Yep. Good.

Brie Tucker: time when you get the I’m on my way text, I’m normally in my bathroom on the third floor of my house, so I don’t have shoes on. I don’t have a purse yet. I’m nowhere near my garage. I’m two flights away. Like, add another five minutes to that. I’m on my way.

But for some reason in my head, my, my, the clock starts right there. It starts right there of the I’ve left. And so that’s why a lot of times I’m like, Oh, I have time. I don’t add in the five to ten minutes it takes me to get down to my car, and then I’m like, why am I late? I left on time.

JoAnn Crohn: I just don’t understand what’s going on here. I don’t understand, but it, it’s such a big point of frustration, especially for us parents when like we have trouble getting out of the house on time and then our kids are also making us. Even later, bringing up so many things, I, I mean, I think me in particular, when other people make me late, I go crazy. I go crazy because I do not like to be late. I like to be there about on

Brie Tucker: I’m glad that, that you give me some grace with that, but you’ve also learned the brie trick of like, you just tell me like an hour before I have to be there, so.

JoAnn Crohn: oh yeah. But like I can’t be late like to anything if I’m walking in the door two minutes later, I am apologizing profusely For being late, and I I don’t know why I’m like that but I think like if you’re listening to this podcast you might be a little like that too and You want your kids to be on time?

Like you hate this being late, but perhaps nothing You’ve said so far has really worked out Which happens? It happens. And in this episode, we are going to tell you the things not to say to your kids when they’re late, and what to say instead. So on with the show. Let’s, let’s dig into this, Brie, because I think, like, if you look at your past and your childhood, were you always late? You

Brie Tucker: Uh, probably, so like I would say, I am one of those people that has very bad conception of time. I always think I can fit more things into the time frame I have. And I blame it on my, procrastination. I’m a huge procrastinator. Always happen. That’s how my brain works in college. I was the kid who wrote her paper the night before and churned out an 11 page paper the night before.

And that’s the only way I could get it done. and so, yeah, I guess that’s why, like, I’m always trying to cram too much in there. And then when I was a kid, kid, I was a latchkey kid. So I didn’t have anybody there to tell me it was time to leave or to get out the door. Like my dad woke me up and then he left for work and my mom was already, she worked at a hospital, so she was already at work and I, my, my consequences were I either made the bus or I did it. Those were the, so yeah, I don’t know. Maybe that’s why.

JoAnn Crohn: I’ve never, I’ve, I’ve always been slightly on time. Like I’ve been about the same amount I am now, but when I was younger, it always used to be called the Madden hour and Madden’s my maiden name. But we would go over to my uncle and aunt’s house and we would say we’d be there by three and we wouldn’t be there by four.

And it’s like the Madden hour because in the house, it was my dad. My dad was always the one. To, make the entire house late because when it was time to go, that was when he would start getting ready to go. And it drove my mom insane, insane. Cause I think my mom is the same as me. She hates being late.

She does not like what it looks like. She doesn’t want anyone else to think like she is taking advantage of their time or anything like that. Basically all the thought processes that I have, I can understand very, very well. And so this frustration, when other people make you late, you just want to like blow a gasket.

Brie Tucker: yeah.

JoAnn Crohn: and I think especially when it comes to getting kids out the door for school, especially like if we are working and we have to get to work at a certain time. So like their lateness is affecting our lateness and it’s just this horrible situation. So one of the things not to say to kids. Is you should have gone to bed earlier. Oh my gosh. Have you ever had that said to you brie? Like you should have gone to bed

Brie Tucker: well, when I got it, so like, on another podcast episode that’ll air a little bit later, we were talking about how yesterday I was late to pick even up my daughter, and I told her, I was like, couldn’t be helped. I hit every red light. And she’s like, you could have left earlier. To me, that’s almost the same thing as you should have gone to bed earlier.And, uh, yeah, so, um. Yeah, I mean, that’s, uh, it’s another not to say like, like you should have gotten up earlier. Like, cause that’s, that’s right there with

JoAnn Crohn: That’s kind of the same thing. You should have you should have you should have you should have

Brie Tucker: should have gone to bed earlier. You should have gotten up earlier. Like, I know I for sure have said that before.

JoAnn Crohn: yeah, and like how have you had that said to you?

Brie Tucker: Probably. Everything said to me under the sun about it. Are you kidding me? This is like, I wish if you talked to my ex husband, he’d be like, Yeah, that was definitely, uh, something I had a hard time living with. Like,

JoAnn Crohn: Well, yeah, but do you remember like your feelings when people say you should have?

Brie Tucker: yeah, like, it always makes you feel bad. And it’s, it’s also like, well, a lot of help that does for me now.

JoAnn Crohn: Yeah

Brie Tucker: Telling me now that I should have gotten up earlier two hours ago. It’s completely unhelpful in this situation, and it also just makes you feel like you’re just, I, I don’t know, almost like you don’t have the skills capable to do it. So,

JoAnn Crohn: Yeah, my reaction is I’m like, damn straight I should have, but you know what? There are a lot of other things going on! I’m like

Brie Tucker: yes, but that’s not the world we live in.

JoAnn Crohn: It’s like I am completely aware that I should have woken up earlier. I’m, I am aware of that and I, I don’t know how to stop it. And I don’t, like, it’s not solving the issue. Like, saying all the should haves, it’s not solving the actual issue of the lateness.

Brie Tucker: And for our kids, that, that, like, right? , just presenting to them that they should have done something that they didn’t do doesn’t help them. Build that problem solving skill.

JoAnn Crohn: Yeah. And it’s, making an assumption on what the cause of the problem is. Like if your child is late and you say, Oh, you should have gone to bed earlier. You’re assuming that, okay, they’re not getting enough sleep and they have to sleep in, and that is why they’re so tired in the morning. And that is why they’re not getting the things done where in reality, that may actually not be it at all.

Maybe they couldn’t fall asleep last night because they were worried about. something or worried about an assignment or worried about something for school, or maybe like they couldn’t wake up and do things in the morning that fast because they were missing like the shoe they were supposed to wear. Like they could only find one shoe and they spent so much time looking for that other shoe that. That’s the real issue and it’s not the bedtime or the sleepiness

Brie Tucker: Or they had a terrible night’s sleep, or they had a nightmare, and it, again, like, affected their sleep, and so they had a hard time getting up in the morning, and when they got up, they got up on time, but they were moving twice as slow because their body was just exhausted.

JoAnn Crohn: Exactly. And we don’t know that when we say, you should’ve, you should’ve done this, you should’ve done that. The more helpful thing to do is, first of all, we say this a lot, you cannot solve this issue in the moment because you are pissed off. if you’re anything like me, you are pissed off that you’re late.

Brie Tucker: Yeah. You’re pissed off at the kids, you’re pissed off at yourself, you’re pissed off at life, and you’re pissed off at the clock.

JoAnn Crohn: Yeah, and your job, which is like, why the hell does this meeting have to be so early in the morning? And your husband who’s like, oh if his work wasn’t so, like, pissed off at the world. Pissed off at the world. while you’re pissed off, you cannot make this conversation happen. But if it happens a lot, this lateness, you could then ask your kids later. Be like, hey, we had a really difficult time getting out the door on time this

Brie Tucker: Mm hmm.

JoAnn Crohn: And just try to find out exactly what the issue is by questioning. It’s all about questioning. I always think of the phrase, um, it’s kind of a mean phrase, but it helps me remember. Uh, you have two ears and one mouth. Use them accordingly. And it’s something that is something that we have to remember with our kids, because I think we get into this rhythm of giving them all this great advice and we think like, Oh, if they only listen to us and if they only accepted our words and followed our instructions, their lives would be perfect.

But really, we’re only assuming what the issue is. And so we need to ask them questions to actually figure out what their blocks are asking them stuff. Like, you know, what are you having trouble with in the morning? What caused, um. You to have difficulty getting out the door this morning. What, could we do to make it easier for you to get it out the door?

those kind of things. Just figuring out what exactly that issue is that’s causing the lateness. Uh, and we’re gonna get into our next two things to say right after this. Okay, the next thing not to say to your kids when they’re late. Okay, you ready, Brie? Something along the lines of, you don’t get any screen time today. it’s taking away those privileges because they were late in the morning.

Brie Tucker: gonna say, the age old, well then, you don’t get to enjoy other things, hours later, that are completely unrelated to what happened.

JoAnn Crohn: And that’s going to cause me personal suffering taking away from you because then you’re going to be in my hair all afternoon.

Brie Tucker: yeah, like, the only time, and I don’t know if you’re gonna agree with this or not, the only time that I would say that if you’re going to take away screen time, It would have to be directly related to the situation. So, for instance, when my kids were a lot younger, my, son didn’t have to get to school as early as his sister, because they went to two different schools.

And so if he was dressed, ate breakfast, packed and ready for school early, he could play Minecraft in the morning while he waited for his sister to get ready and have us get her out the door. And then we come back and grab him and take him to school. So if he was playing Minecraft and wasn’t ready. Then I would say, no screen time for you tomorrow morning, because today you showed that we couldn’t get it done. But that’s the only way where I think that that could possibly be related. Otherwise, that whole arbitrarily taking away things doesn’t help anything.

JoAnn Crohn: and I would, I, I would, I would agree with you that it is related. Then, I would say like, could go one step further though, with the Minecraft where he could be put in control of his Minecraft use, and asking him to figure out the issue because usually when kids are stuck playing a video game, like when they are totally absorbed in it.

When they look back, they can usually admit that, Hey, I got, I lost track of time because I was playing this game and they would also be like, yeah, maybe this made me late. So the whole questioning thing works really well in this situation to, you know, of course, waiting until it’s calm and then being like, so, Hey, so like, what were the difficulties this morning? Like, how, how did we knock it out the door and getting them to say that because when people say something that’s wrong, You will have such better luck than if you tell them what’s

Brie Tucker: Exactly. Because again, like you just said, it’s not their perspective. It’s your perspective. And as far as they’re concerned, For most kids, we don’t know what we’re talking about. We’re just a parent.

JoAnn Crohn: Yeah.

Brie Tucker: No, I can do it. I can make it work. Okay. But it’s hard though, and we get it, it’s a hard balance when, like you already pointed out, like it, them being late impacts you in more than just a now I’m behind on running errands. Like a, I’m going to be late to a meeting and I’m going to get reprimanded by my boss. Or, I’m going to be late to a doctor’s appointment, and they’re going to cancel my appointment, and now I’m going to owe them 100 for a missed appointment. Like, yeah, like, we get that that, that that happens, but at the same time, it, you’re gonna, you’re, it’s like trying to run in quicksand when you keep telling them what’s wrong and what the solution needs to be.

JoAnn Crohn: hmm. Yeah, and for those kind of situations, like, it’s all about telling your kids also what’s going on. Because I feel like we, we try to hurry them on, along, but we don’t tell them the reasons behind the hurrying along. We’re just like, hurry up! You’re gonna make me late! Hurry up! Hurry up! Hurry up!

Like, because we’re so in that Mindset where we’re just stressed and our logical brains. They’re not thinking they’re not online We just need that child out of the house right now And then later we give ourselves shame for yelling at our kids or snapping with our kids And I want you to hear this and I want you to make sure that you give yourself some self compassion for those moments because it’s not how the human brain works.

You are overloaded with stress. Your amygdala is producing all of these stress hormones and cortisol in your body. And. You cannot think straight and it’s not being able to control it better It’s not like being able to keep calm. It’s just the reality of the situation So that’s why if you had a really stressful morning with your kids Don’t talk about it right then just be like we’re gonna talk about this when we get home Like you could say it like that. I say it like that too

Brie Tucker: Yeah,

JoAnn Crohn: then That’s when you can start asking them the questions, and once you’ve got everything behind the reason that they were late, that’s where you can go in with your concerns and be like, Okay, I hear everything you’re saying. This morning I was late to a meeting and my boss yelled at me. And just let it sit there.

Brie Tucker: And I think I have found so many times that because of the role that I played in my family, both with my ex husband and then also even after I got divorced and I was a single mom, I have always been fortunate enough to have a job that has been flexible, like that, first of all, people like me enough, but they are willing to oversee the fact that free is chronically late.

Um, and that’s just on her side, not even with the kids. Like, my work would laugh at me that I would be later getting into the office when I didn’t have the kids that when I did. So, but that’s another conversation.

JoAnn Crohn: It works better now that your office is in your home, because now when you say, I’m on my way, you’re actually there in a minute.

Brie Tucker: Yeah. So I’m actually there like at 30 seconds if I’m not already like with it right there in front of me. But yeah, so it’s, it’s funny because, I always had a flexible job and because of that, what that meant, what my kids saw was, all right, if we have a half day, mom can still pick us up. All right. If I have a assembly, mom’s going to come and be there. you know, it. she can be flexible. They didn’t know that on the backside of that to be flexible.

That meant that sometimes I did have things that were non flexible, but they didn’t know that. So, like you said, I was late today to a meeting and I ended up getting in trouble, or I was late to a meeting and I made 15 other people have to sit around and wait for me. Because I wasn’t there and they would never in a million years have imagined That’s why I was yelling to get out the door on time They never in a bit because all they see is flexible mom

JoAnn Crohn: Flexible. Yeah,

Brie Tucker: flexible mom

JoAnn Crohn: and also, uh, to address a yeah, but, because I know that sometimes when you start telling your concerns to your kids, they come back at you with like, so? Like that doesn’t affect me. It hurts, it hurts a lot and that is a sign that they are still angry. They’re still angry about something.

They’re saving some face. anytime like I see a kid come back with that, I’m like, Ooh, okay. We’re not quite ready to talk about this yet. And that’s what I’ll say. I’ll be like, okay, that hurt what you said to me right there. We need to pause this conversation. And talk about it again when we are both less angry.

and just step away and let things cool down. but don’t be surprised if your kids come back at you with that. It’s not that they’re horrible people. It’s that at that time It could be the fear of getting in trouble. It could be the fear of being confronted. It could be anything going on in their brains right at that moment.

It doesn’t mean they’re a horrible person. It doesn’t mean you’re raising a horrible person. It doesn’t mean they’re going to turn into a sociopath who like murders everybody and has no respect for the feelings of those around him, which I think are the fears.

Brie Tucker: and that and that our kids gonna be a social outcast and they’re gonna live in a van down by the river like yeah

JoAnn Crohn: Yeah. I think those are our fears when those responses come. So just see those responses and be like, Mmm, and where tensions are still high. And we’re going to talk about this later.

Brie Tucker: pokes our buttons

JoAnn Crohn: Pokes our buttons, and we’re, Mmm, pushes our

Brie Tucker: There we go.

JoAnn Crohn: Mix in the metaphors. Metaphor mixing. Metaphor mixing. Well, we’re going to talk about the last thing not to say to kids when they’re late right after this. The last thing that tends to come out of our mouths when our kids are late. You really need to be more responsible. It’s that moral high ground one. It’s the, you don’t have the qualities that it takes. You are such an insensitive human being who is not capable of doing things. And you really need to be more responsible. Oh my gosh. I heard that said to me so often. What about you, Brie?

Brie Tucker: That hurts. Like, I, I, don’t, I I don’t, I don’t know if I heard that, but I am sure that there is like a couple of times out of anger where I might have been like, Yeah, you’re, you’re just, you’re, you’re killing us all here. You’re kill say it in a funny way. You’re killing us, Smalls! You’re killing us all! Like, we can’t, we can’t make it out, cause like, when my, yeah, my, my son, who is now uber responsible, when he was in elementary and middle school, was the chronic late one, like, always made us late, always, and it just got old after a while, you’re like, We’ve given you so many chances. You’ve come up with a million different solutions.

None of them have worked. And in your anger, that’s the thought process that goes through your head. It’s just what you said. It’s like, well, you’re, you’re incapable of doing it. And then, and then where’s the motivation to try after you’ve been told that you’re incapable.

JoAnn Crohn: I mean, how do you become more responsible? What are the steps? Like, what’s the, where’s the rule book, where’s the guide to become more responsible? Like, it’s not anything that I could follow up on. It’s like, I think the adult equivalent of this that gets said in workplaces is, you need to be better managing your time. That’s like

Brie Tucker: Okay. Now that one I’ve heard. Okay.

JoAnn Crohn: that’s like the ultimate in shame because like our first one, you You don’t know where to go from there. And the person telling you that is assuming what the issue is when really, when you talk about responsibility and time management, I mean, it could be an ADHD issue. Like we know like Brie, just you explaining everything that you go through. It’s like all symptoms of ADHD. And I have those as well.

Brie Tucker: like, we’re always, we’ve, we’ve always been working with like a broken down car, been trying to fix it and make it work. And We were just lucky enough. And I say, we like, literally like you and I were lucky enough to make it through, but now we see it in our kids. And we’re like, damn, that’s hard. God. I wish somebody would have given me a couple of tools or maybe been like, Hey, we can get you a new engine and it’ll work better.

JoAnn Crohn: And not so much of the self shame because a lot of it comes from, Oh my gosh, I see so many other people doing this. Why can’t I do it? Like, for example, I would used to go when I was in high school. I remember my junior year, I had a friend Isabel and she’s like, Oh my gosh, I spent like till midnight studying last night.

night and I did all of these things and I read all these like really boring stuff, like the history books, stuff like I could never keep my focus and attention on. And I would always think that there was something wrong with me. I was not responsible enough that I would actually study for tests before.

And I always did. Okay. Like I have my ways to get through, but when you tell kids, Oh, you should be more responsible. It’s. They go into self shame mode because the immediate thought is, Well, why can’t I do this and everyone else can? That’s like the type of kid I was. Or they go on the defensive and they’re like, Well, F this then. I’m not even going to try.

Brie Tucker: And like, that’s exactly because you’re, you’re setting up somebody to believe that they have a fault within them that cannot be fixed. So why would you put any more energy and effort towards it, especially if it’s something that just continuously comes back as being pointed out as something that they don’t like about you? So,

JoAnn Crohn: hmm. It’s a trait. Yeah. And like the, you should be more responsible is nothing that’s going to encourage them to do better. It’s nothing. And usually there is something else going on that needs to be, not fixed, but needs to be found

Brie Tucker: Addressed.

JoAnn Crohn: So address, so that you can help your child problem solve through it to actually get the results of being on time. And a lot of people see that and they’re like, Oh, you’re, you’re coddling them. You’re like not tough enough with them. You should really be stricter with them.

Brie Tucker: So then I would say, wait a second, like, okay, because I’m married, I was married to this person,

JoAnn Crohn: I know. I know it’s a trigger actually for you and I put, I chose my language on

Brie Tucker: JoAnn’s over there in her head going, wha?

JoAnn Crohn: like

Brie Tucker: Because I hear this a lot, and what I hear is like, you coddle too much, you, you don’t give them enough responsibility, and it’s like, okay. Um. I hear what you’re saying, but how is it when I tell them, let’s figure it out, how is that coddling? How is it by having them actually use real life problem solving skills, how is that not preparing them for the real world?

JoAnn Crohn: Yeah,

Brie Tucker: me, because we’re preparing them in a safe environment. Where they are more willing to take risks and they’re more willing to try things out because a lot of us have a fear of failure, right? Like, I mean, I think that’s pretty much human nature for 99% of the population, a fear of failure, right? And that fear of failure, a lot of times is what keeps us from trying out different, different techniques. And I mean, this could be used on a much grander scale, but even just talking about getting ready in the morning.

Like, if you think that you’ve got an idea, oh, but it probably is going to suck and it’s probably not going to work. You’re not even going to try it out of that fear of failure. But if they’re in a safe environment with it, with you, then they can try it and they can actually start that whole problem solving technique of like, well, this didn’t work. That kind of helped me get a little bit faster. What if I tweak it this way? They’ll never practice it if they’re not given a safe environment to try.

JoAnn Crohn: Exactly. And it’s all about making that safe environment for kids. That is the underlying theme and thread throughout this whole episode. Because all of the things we said not to say, say to kids, it’s really damaging the safe environment for trial, for error, for figuring out the reasons behind things. And if you say one of these things to your kids, like, it’s okay. It’s okay. It just gives you a chance to repair and come back and be like, Hey, I was angry and stressed and I shouldn’t have said that this morning. I am sorry. and working from there. That’s all we can do as parents. Brie and I, we are not perfect at all. Those things come out of our mouths as well, and it just gives a chance for us to repair the situation and go forward from there

Brie Tucker: and I hope, if anything, it teaches our kids that it’s okay to apologize. It’s okay to admit that you’re wrong. It’s not, it’s not a sign of weakness. It’s actually a sign of strength that you’re willing to admit that you were wrong and to, all right. But, and, and wrong isn’t, that’s the other thing too, like I think it’s too many times like we get stuck in the whole wrong thing, like admitting that you’re wrong doesn’t necessarily mean that you were like completely not knowledgeable. It just means like, oops, I, that situation I handled, I handled it wrong. So I’m going to handle it better next time. Talking them through your thought process.

JoAnn Crohn: Yeah, and there’s so much freedom that comes once you can accept that it’s okay to apologize because a lot of the stress comes away then with getting it perfect because you’re never going to get it perfect. But if you know that you always have that repair as an option, you get to come back to it again and again and again.And I love it. I love, I love being able to repair. It’s actually one of the best relationship builders between me and my kids is our abilities to repair with each other. So. try it. Let us know any questions that you have

so if you haven’t already, Brie and I have a favor to ask you. Can you rate and review this podcast? It really helps us get the word out to many more moms who need it. Many more moms who need Stop who need the permission to stop feeling bad about the things they do to know that they are not alone and to give them a positive outlook for what’s possible and what relationship is possible with their kids. And until next time, remember the best mom is a happy mom. Take care of you. We’ll talk to you later.

Brie Tucker: Thanks for stopping by

Brie Tucker

COO/ Podcast Producer at No Guilt Mom
Brie Tucker has over 20 years of experience coaching parents with a background in early childhood and special needs. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Central Missouri and is certified in Positive Discipline as well as a Happiest Baby Educator.

She’s a divorced mom to two teenagers.

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