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How You Can Explain Time to Your Child and Make a Lasting Impression

Have you ever tried to explain time to someone?



4 months ago | 3 min read


Using examples helps your child understand what you are saying.

Recently, my son’s teacher emailed that he was late for class again. The teacher added my son didn’t have a valid excuse for coming late. I was confused since I dropped him off with plenty of time to get to his first class.

After calling the school to clarify, they said he arrives at school on time. After that he arrives in his first class late. Not long after arriving at school, the teacher said my son goes to the bathroom which makes him late for class.

After school, my son confirmed he goes to the bathroom, and that’s why he is late to class.

I couldn’t understand this since my son used to play football. He understands the importance of showing up on time. My son didn’t think showing up to class was as important.

The 5-minute ride to school

Since my son was late, I left home early to drop him off. If he had to use the bathroom, he would have extra time to do that.

Usually, when I take my kids to school, I try to think of a new lesson to teach them. Sometimes I think of a lesson. Other times I don’t.

This time I had a lesson to talk to him about, and it was about time. I told my son, you should always show up at least 5 minutes early to any event. This is for school and as an adult when you go to work. You don’t want to show up late.

If you have to show up to class at 8:30, then you should be seated by 8:25. You should always show up early.

For the next ride, I’ll have to share with him my idea of time.

Time is one thing you lose and never get back.

You can easily waste time, so you have to use your time wisely.

The first time I was called out for showing up late

When I was about 22 years old, I was assigned to my first duty station, Camp Greaves, with the 1st 506th Infantry. The base was about 2 km from the demilitarized zone in Korea.

One day there was an afternoon formation. As I was walking toward the formation, I heard the First Sergeant call my name.

He said, “Any day Specialist Handy.”

At that point, I ran to get in formation. You never want to be called out in front of your peers and work colleagues. There were easily 100 other people in the formation and they all waited on me.

After that event, I still didn’t learn the importance of time.

You would think a person would learn. Sometimes you need another event to help you learn to make better use of your time.

When my boss went on leave (vacation), I was in charge of the section. I was surprised since I was in the Army for less than a year and I was already running a section of 10 soldiers.

One of my tasks was to attend the First Sergeant’s morning meeting.

When I attended the meeting, I was late. Then the second meeting, I was late again. I tried my best to get there on time but for some reason I was late.

I looked at the clock on the First Sergeant’s wall. His clock was fast, and I said that’s why I’m always late. I realized I needed to set my time to First Sergeant’s time.

At that point, I set my watch seven minutes fast.

When I arrived at the next meeting with the First Sergeant, I was on time.

Since then, I make it a habit to set my watch fast. I do the same for clocks in my house. I set all the clocks fast.

When you set your clock fast, it makes you think you’re late for an appointment.

Even though you are not late, you’ll be on time for any event. The only exception is if something happens that is out of control which makes you late. Sometimes there will be accidents or events that will make you late. In general, you’ll be on time for anything.

A few times you may even show up to an event early.

Have you ever tried to explain time to someone?


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