4 Tips to Getting Your Family Out the Door on Time

When our family needs to be somewhere at a certain time, it’s often a mad rush to get out the door. Don’t be that innocent bystander standing in the middle of the hallway, or you’ll likely get knocked down by a kid or two. I can’t claim we’ve mastered the art of getting out the door on time. Sometimes someone can’t find their shoes. Sometimes someone will need to sit on the toilet for a while. Sometimes we will simply be late. I accept that.

But we try–really try–not to be the stereotypical family running on “Filipino time.” I met a woman, who told me they call it “Hawaiian time” in their family. I know many other cultures that have adapted this little phrase to excuse their tardiness. Let’s face it. Most of us have this problem.

On the TODAY Parenting Team, I share my tips to help you and your family leave the house on time.

4 Tips to Getting Your Family Out the Door on Time


The invitation says “2:00 pm”. For reasons still unknown to you, no matter how much time you have to get ready, you will almost always be late to the party. At 10 minutes past the hour, one kid might have permanent marker art on her face, another one is still in his underwear, and you’re afraid you may show up at the event with your messy pony tail and yoga pants. Sound familiar? Here are some tips to help you and your family get out the door in a timely fashion.
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4 thoughts on “4 Tips to Getting Your Family Out the Door on Time

  1. This is awesome! I actually used to live in Hawaii for a few years and everything was “Hawaiian time”!! I’m from LA and back here now so we have an extra kick to our step but I am still definitely guilty of getting out the door at the “event start time” rather than 20 or 30 minutes before smile emoticon The routine is a great idea. Kids need routines and making them responsible for their actions is a lesson in itself. If working with younger kiddos it is easy to find reinforcers that can be given in the car if they do a good job like “if you complete your morning routine by 8:00am then you can take a pack of goldfish for the road”. Definitely helps mom and dad too!

    1. I’m so time-oriented … I think it would be hard for me to live in Hawaii. Visiting is totally fine though. Then again, I had to relax a bit and become more flexible after having kids. 🙂

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