4 Reasons to Stop Rushing Your Kids

Image via Katie Hurley

From the morning rush to the after school activity rush to the homework and dinnertime rush to the bedtime rush, it seems like a lot of parents, and their kids, spend a lot of time in a rush.  And while some people claim to perform better under stress, rushing around can be a dangerous habit for kids.

When you’re in a rush, chances are your adrenaline starts pumping.  And while that extra boost might be the very thing that pushes you (and the rest of your family) out the door exactly on time, the crash that follows isn’t good for your mental health (or theirs).  It can result in emotional exhaustion, inattention, and even feelings of depression.  You might even find that you have a serious headache… 

It’s time to take a look at that busy schedule and find a way to slow down.

It’s difficult to enjoy childhood when you’re always in a rush, and kids also experience negative side effects from rushing too much.

4 Reasons to stop rushing your kids:

They miss out on the bigger picture:

When kids are constantly being hurried along the next thing, they miss out on what’s right in front of them.  There is a lot to be said for watching a butterfly hop from flower to flower or stopping to wave to a passing fire engine.  Kids learn just as much from the world around them as they do from books.  They need time to immerse themselves in their surroundings and appreciate what’s there.

They experience negative emotions:

Rushing around increases your child’s stress level.  When under stress, children tend to experience more negative emotions.  Children are likely to feel increased anger, anxiety, and even sadness when they are constantly running around in an attempt to catch up.  It’s a lot for kids to cope with on a day-to-day basis.  


They won’t do their best:

When they’re always focused on the next thing, it’s hard for kids to put the necessary effort and energy into the current task.  When their stress levels are increased they are more likely to make careless errors or mistakes, be it in their schoolwork or on the playing field.  The result?  They won’t be happy with the results and will experience more negative emotions.  It’s a difficult cycle to break.


They don’t get downtime:

Kids need a break.  With increasing academic demands, after school sports and activities, and various other family commitments, kids are lacking in downtime.  Kids need to take a break.  Whether they prefer to read a book, paint, or kick a ball around the back yard, it’s important to factor in downtime so that kids can simply be kids and relax a little.  

How do you avoid rushing your kids?

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What do you think?

4 Reasons to Stop Rushing Your Kids

Katie Hurley, LCSW is a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist and writer in Los Angeles, CA. She is the author of "No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident, and Compassionate Girls" and "The Happy Kid Handbook: How to Raise Joyful Children in a Stressful World". She earned her BA in Psychology and Women's Studies from Boston College and her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania. She divides her time between her family, her private practice and her writing. Passionate about he ... More

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  1. Nicole says:

    Tell this to the people who overload our children with homework every night so they have no time to do anything else.

  2. nikki says:

    i seem too have alot of time finding myself in a rush and im 21 wks and 3 days pregnant and i have a 6 year old little girl. I need too find alot of time too slow down and get around much earlier so i can calmly tell our little one its time too go to school or church. I really dont like the fact when i rush her and i didnt think of the emotional situations i would be putting on our daughter. This article really helped me out alot. When she is rushed for school, she tends too come home sometimes getting into trouble from school, maybe is why she does cause she is rushed.

  3. Charavon says:

    I love this article. I like the fact that kids need down time. I need to focus on having more down time for me too.

  4. Karleen says:

    I tell my daughter ahead of time what we will be doing next. It’s a great way for her to transition and know she has a few more minutes with her current activity. It’s working well and she’s 2 and 1/2 yrs old.


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