Do you have a family of turtles or a family of rabbits? You might have guessed that I’m not talking about real turtles or rabbits, I’m talking about your children. Your child who moves at a slow and steady pace is your turtle, and your child who hits the ground running is your rabbit.
In my family, I have one of each. So when morning rolls around, I handle my turtle with gentle care. When my rabbit awakens in the morning, I’d better have my ducks in a row because he is already in high gear! The key to handling your turtles and rabbits is realizing that they are who they are. You might be able to rush your turtle, but it’s not going to make her happy or bring out the best in her. And you might be able to slow down your rabbit, but that won’t bring out the best in him either.
So here are 3 ways to handle your turtles and your rabbits.
1. Accept, Accept, Accept.
You’re never going to turn your turtle into a rabbit or your rabbit into a turtle. We’re not saying that sometimes your turtle isn’t going to have to move a little faster or that your rabbit isn’t going to have to slow down a bit, but at their most basic level, our kids are who they are. So don’t get on a mission to try to alter who your child is, instead look for what’s good about him.
2. Encourage Peace Among the Species.
“Tell him to get his shoes on faster! He’s making us late!” yells the rabbit. “Stop rushing me! I’m going as fast as I can!” hollers the turtle. If you have turtles and rabbits, teach them how to deal with, and be patient with, their sibling’s different pace. Point out the good in doing things slowly and methodically, and the good in doing things quickly and efficiently.
3. Teach Survival Skills.
My turtle does her classwork slowly. If the class is coloring a picture, she’s the last one done. While that’s not a bad thing, it does hinder her in getting all of her schoolwork done on time. So while I don’t want to change the essence of who my turtle is, to survive in school she will have to, at times, speed up. My rabbit son on the other hand, rushes through his schoolwork. And while getting done quickly is great, it’s not so good when you make careless mistakes. So to survive and thrive at school, I’ve had to teach my rabbit to slow down and my turtle to speed up.
It’s okay to point out to your children how their tendencies need to be tweaked in certain situations.
It’s okay to point out to your children how their tendencies need to be tweaked in certain situations. They need to understand that sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do, no matter what comes naturally to you.
Do you have turtles or rabbits? How do you parent them differently?