Jeanine Fitzgerald, who owns the Fitzgerald Institute in Northboro, Massachusetts, visits the North Country yearly to speak. She is a leader in working with children, particularly those with challenging behaviors, and she always has new and insightful information to share. One tip she suggested several years ago, which a friend recently told me about, was to stop telling children, “Just a minute . . . “.
Jeanine suggested that rather than saying “Just a minute . . . ” we give children who are waiting for us real information about when we will be available, because “just a minute” is never just a minute. Giving them information about when I will be able to listen/help also helps me to follow through and not get redirected.
I never realized how many times a day I say, “Just a minute . . . !” So lately I have been trying to follow her advice. It takes some thinking, but I am getting better every day. Now, instead of “Just a minute . . . ” I say:
“When I am done helping George I will come find you.”
“I will be available to help after I finish introducing this to Sarah.”
“I can listen to you when I have finished my conversation with Lance.”
Try it! I think you will be amazed by how many times you say “Just a minute . . . ” each day!