Go to any busy playground or crowded museum and you may see frustrated moms repeating the same tired line to their child, “wait your turn!” There may be a whole slew of kids and just a few swings, or there’s this really captivating science exhibit at the museum that your child is enthralled with and then there’s this other little kid that wants to do it too and his mom is getting thoroughly impatient giving you the side eye as she says in her fakest nice-Mommy voice to her kid, “just a minute, wait your turn.” She may even ask if you can you hurry your child up, because her kid desperately wants a turn. The other kid jumping up and down acting like they’re entitled to their immediate turns in their Veruca Salt-esk attitude, the mom frustrated and impatient shifting her weight from foot to foot because she doesn’t want to hear her kid whine about it anymore.
It’s pretty important to teach our kids about being polite, being conscious of those around them and sharing and taking turns with the things they are doing and the things they have, especially in a crowded place. On the other hand, I think it’s just as important of a lesson to teach our kids to not only wait their turns, share toys and take turns, but to actually Take. Their. Turn. What I mean by this, is instead of teaching them that they need to rush through the things they are doing just to appease those that are super impatient around them, they need to learn the value of standing their ground, not let themselves to be bullied out of their turns and actually take time to smell the roses, or finish whatever they are doing. Take their full entire turns. I’m not saying over-do it and spend hours swinging away without a concern in the world perched upon the only swing at the park with the griniest of grins on their smug little faces, but they should feel free to be confident and enjoy their turn. So often I hear adults say they have trouble saying no and trouble turning down requests from others when they really don’t want to do something. Children at a young age should learn confidence, ownership and self-assurance with their own actions and in the things they do, including standing up to turn bullying. Maybe that will carry over and help them to have the ability to say “no” when appropriate in both their childhoods and beyond, into adulthood. What do you think? Is taking your turn just as important as taking turns?