If I had to list one of the most challenging skills parents have to teach their children, time management would definitely be at the top.
Sleeping through the night, potty training and teaching good-for-you-food eating habits are a breeze compared to getting a teenager to organize and prioritize his, or in my case, her, list of to-dos.
It doesn’t help that I’m a neurotic list and schedule maker and that she is more of the “I’ll figure it out tomorrow” variety.
It also doesn’t help that whenever she has wanted something, Amazon Prime has been a click away for a 24-hour delivery which has therefore, supported her natural inclination for procrastination.
So, more than I’d like to admit, and more than she’d like to hear, I’ve used this convenient delivery service as an example of what not to do.
“You’ll have to wear another dress. There’s no way the tailor can alter your dress in one day. She’s not on Amazon Prime. Why didn’t you tell me about it earlier?”
“Um no, it won’t be possible to schedule a photo session at 3 p.m. and expect to have the proofs ready and your head shots printed by tomorrow. This is not like Amazon Prime. You’ll just have to use your old ones.”
You get the idea. But even after several of these disappointing experiences, my daughter still doesn’t see the lesson in scheduling and giving herself enough time to get everything done that she wants and needs.
“I’m just being lazy,” she replies whenever I urge —ok nag — her to start planning ahead.
But maybe by the time that she has a job, a family and runs a house, she won’t need to schedule half the things that fill my notes and reminder apps.
When Taryn was a baby, scheduling my Target and grocery store runs was a big deal. Now, new moms don’t give a second thought about it. Need more diapers or formula? Target will deliver them to the house or do a curbside drop off.
Meal planning? Why bother? There’s always Doordash, Grubhub or a slew of other delivery services to get food on the table, as my daughter and her friends have already figured out.
“Mom, can I have some friends over for dinner tonight?” she asked me last week. Don’t worry. You don’t have to do anything. We’re just going to Grubhub it.”
As much as I love the convenience of having everything come to me without much forethought or planning, the idea that my daughter’s generation picking and choosing more things at the spur of the moment from the ease of their screens is a little unsettling. But then again, I am a neurotic list maker.
The other day, I received a package of coupons that were all for home-delivery services.
There was hellofresh, for meal kits; Instacart for groceries; a mobile car mechanic; and several restaurant and market delivery options.
Add that list to the slew of stores that have free shipping, online plant shops, plus the Granddaddy of them all, Amazon, and I realized why teaching time management is so tough.
Teens know that there will always be something somewhere that will get the job done for them without too much planning.
They also know that if all fails mom and dad still haven’t forgotten the old school ways.