A Favorite Family Phrase: Take Time

As we continue to make our way through the book on modern manners for kids, there is another phrase that has been born in our house. It is used often: take time.

Candace and I feel mostly capable as parents. We’ve always tried to be there for our kids and I’m confident they know that. But as our kids get older and more capable, we are always encouraging them to do and learn for themselves. Not only is it a good habit to form, but I love watching their creativity come alive. They consider things that I have never anticipated. 

So now, when a question is asked, we encourage them to “take time” and figure it out on their own. 

It is helpful for little things like, “When does the party start this afternoon?” (After being reminded, they “take time” to look it up on the family calendar themselves.)

Or they might wonder about how to rearrange their room, or what a scripture means, or how to respond to an adult question, or which writing angle to take on a research paper. 

I found that when I answer any of these questions, even if I’m encouraging them to learn for themselves, I end up adding opinion or direction. It sort of defeats the purpose. 

So we just go with “take time.”

We’ve reached the point that they will ask a question and then, before I can respond, they’ll say “I should take time.”

This reminds me of a quote from Bruce R McConkie, a religious leader, and an accomplished thinker and writer. 

“People eternally ask me questions, and they ought to figure them out themselves. I mean, I don’t have any more obligation than they do to know what the answers to these things are and they have the same sources to look to that I do.”Bruce R McConkie

This is helpful as a leader in church, a boss at work, or as a coach in a sport. Encourage those you lead to “take time” so they improve for the future. 

Learning to learn is a very useful skill. We should encourage our kids to grow early and often so they have strong habits for the real world.