I Have a Lollygagger In The Family … And It’s Not Me!!!

Do you see this one? …


She’s much older now, but none the less … she’s my lollygagger.  Here’s the dictionary.com definition of that word:

a person who dawdles or fools around

She takes her time.  She walks slowly, singing or humming as she goes.  I’m not sure she’s always ‘fooling around’ when she’s not supposed to be, but she does these sorts of things when she comes across water fountains …


I really actually love this about her. You see, I’m more Type-A. I have a plan, we’ve got to get it done, as fast as we can. Let me be honest here.   When I’m in a hurry, it is SO. HARD. for me to then see that as fun and sweet and lovely and for me to be patient with it.  I recently read this from Huffington Post about a mom who has sworn off saying ‘Hurry Up!’ to her young one.  Some blogs come and some blogs go and this one stuck.  I thought about it here and there for a few weeks.  It stuck because I really liked it.  I could relate.  I knew what she was talking about because I’ve been there.  I’ve been there with my little one; my stop-and-smell-the-roses one.  I’ve learned that letting her go and do in her time frame, as much as I can, is helpful.

Here’s my dilemma: My ‘stop-and-smell-the-roses’ one is 8 almost 9 years old now. I’m trying to teach her respect for others, responsibility and obedience to authority (not just mom and dad, but general authority, too).  Here are a few scenarios we encounter pretty regularly …

  • Obedience to Authority: Austin ISD says you are tardy at 7:45 AM on school days.  If you’re tardy, you get a pink slip and walk to class with that and get it marked down on your record.  After a few of those, mom and dad get a letter in the mail.  It is important to be to school on time.
  • Respect: The birthday party starts at 2p.m.  No, if you’re not there on time you won’t get a pink tardy slip, but it is disrespectful to just think being on time does not matter at all.  Someone has picked this time and planned party activities based on people being (relatively) on time.
  • Responsibility: Mom says we’re leaving in 5 minutes.  You’ve been given much warning about the family leaving to go out and about.  You are still gathering all you want and need as you play intermittently.  We’ve been waiting in the car for you for an additional 5 minutes.

The reality I’m faced with is this: I love my daughter.  I want to grow her up as best I can.  A lot of that has to do with teaching and training.   Right now, I’m not sure how to meld ‘just how my daughter is wired’ and how to ‘hurry up’ when we’re late, as a part of responsibility, obedience to authority and respect for others.

Do y’all have any ideas?  What do you do to teach and train your kids in this area? I’d love to hear about it.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Paul
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 12:21:04

    I’m not a parent, and probably won’t be of much help, but I am someone who is usually not on time for things 🙂

    Sounds like she’s really smart and ‘questioning’ the importance of any given deadline. I actually do this all the time at work and it almost always buys me more time because the deadline was arbitrary. I literally ask “what will happen if we don’t hit this deadline?” and “what will happen if we do?”. If the genuine answer is “nothing” then what’s the hurry? There’s neither a penalty nor a reward so we can push that back and work on something that is more rewarding (like playing haha).

    Yeah, it violates social norms regarding time, but many ‘pioneering’ and successful people in our society are admired for their willingness to break out of social norms.

    See, not much help at all :-). Maybe give her chores that are genuinely time sensitive?


  2. Holly Dennis
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 13:55:34

    Thank you for your comment, Paul! I love those ideas, too. 🙂


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