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11 Reasons to Slow Down with Your Child

coach-swimming“Come on, hurry up!  We’re going to be late!”  I find myself saying these words almost without thinking.  I despise being late, but it seems despite my best efforts, I am always in a race against the clock.  I also have a tendency to over-schedule, and although so far it’s only been for my own activities and responsibilities, and not for my children, I know it affects the whole family.  For these reasons, Dr. Laura Markham’s post “11 Ways Your Child Loses When You Rush Him Through Life” on   really struck a chord with me.

Introduced by a thought-provoking quote from, Dr. Markham proceeds to list eleven important reasons why rushing our children through life negatively affects our children:

  1. It influences their developing brain.  In fact, some neurologists hypothesize that a daily routine filled with stressful hyper-stimulation reinforces neural pathways that create a brain with a life-long tendency to anxiety and hyper-vigilance.
  2. It increases the levels of stress hormones in children’s bodies.  Increased levels of these hormones can contribute to crankiness, difficulty falling asleep, weight gain, and immune suppression.
  3. It constantly interrupts their developmental work of exploring the world, affecting their curiosity.
  4. It overstimulates them, causing them to not be able to process everything coming at them, undermining learning.
  5. It habituates children to busyness, so they become easily bored, craving electronic stimulation.
  6. It overrides their natural inclination to “do it myself,” interfering their development of competence.
  7. It creates a chronic feeling of incompleteness, stealing the joy of mastery.
  8. It makes children feel pushed and controlled, triggering power struggles and increasing stress hormones.
  9. It keeps children from attending to their emotions throughout the day, so in the evenings they have a day’s worth of feelings needing release, perhaps triggering meltdowns and even leading to addictions such as food, media, shopping, etc.
  10. It keeps them from discovering and pursuing their own passions, which is inherently a slow, organic process of experimentation.
  11. It forces them out of the groundedness of the present moment, undermining their authenticity and connection to deeper meaning.

Dr. Markham also stresses that rushing makes us less patient and less nurturing with our children, making it more difficult to parent well.  One mother, after getting in a fight with her daughter, said she realized she had been “too distracted, too busy, to slow down and just be kind.”

Do you need to slow down and simplify your life?  Kidtelligent can help!  The Kidtelligent Assessment can help by giving you additional tools to help teach your children based on their own unique personality types and interests.   To learn more about Kidtelligent, go to, and follow us on Facebook at

Sarah is a guest blogger for Kidtelligent.  She is a soccer-playing, travel-loving, poetry-writing wife to a “go-getter” husband and mother to two high-spirited, sweet, and enthusiastic boys.  She looks forward to watching more sunsets and taking her time enjoying life with her family.