Getting to work and business meetings on time – if you have children

img-section-5-matt-sanders-290x290 Whether you are employed, or self-employed, run your own business or work for someone else – being punctual is important.

However for many parents, trying to get out of the door on time when you have children can be stressful. And unfortunately turning up late to an important meeting and complaining that the children were playing up, isn’t going to win you the business!

So how can you and the kids get out the door on time?

According to Professor Matt Sanders, founder of the Triple P Positive Parenting Program, the key is organisation:

  1.  Don’t have the television on in the morning. Better to make sure the children are dressed before breakfast. Perhaps when they are fully ready you can turn the television on then.
  2.  Get yourself ready first, before your child. To avoid last minute rushing prepare some things the night before and go to bed at a reasonable hour so you’ll wake early enough.
  3. Let your child know ahead of time that you’ll be going out and explain exactly what the day’s activities will be and their time requirements.
  4.  Younger children can learn the importance of organisation by doing things for themselves. Teaching children to get dressed by themselves is a chance to practise independent skills and it also saves you time.
  5. You may like to try the “beat the clock” game. Your child’s goal is to be ready before the alarm clock sounds off. If your child wins, he earns a small treat or reward, such as a favourite snack in his lunch box.
  6. Tell your child exactly what tasks he must do to be ready to leave and thus win the reward. Make sure you set the timer for a reasonable amount of time and avoid giving repeated instructions or nagging your child to hurry up.

Often it will only take a two-week period of beating the clock before the rewards and the clock are phased out. Remember to always praise your child’s achievements in learning better organisation.

With a little preparation and thought the stress of getting out on time can be reduced and those morning rush hours can become, at least a little calmer.


Professor Matt Sanders is the founder of the Triple P — Positive Parenting Program®, based on over 30 years of ongoing research and used around the world. One of the goals of the Triple P — Positive Parenting Program® is to empower parents by providing them with evidence-based knowledge, skills and strategies to handle various parenting challenges. To find out more, including how you can now do Triple P Online, go to:

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