5 min now saves 2 hrs later.
This is my new mantra. After falling off the sensory-home-program wagon for the hundredth time, I realized I have a motivational issue. I know I need to do sensory activities for my kids, I even get reminders to do them from the SensoryTreat app, but often enough I skip an activity saying to myself: “what’s the big harm?”. Just like eating one small cookie when trying to keep a diet or skipping one workout when trying to get in shape. Well true, that just like those two examples there is nothing dramatic about missing one time. Also true, that the risk is in the slippery slope that lies at the tip of this one time slip. However, unlike these two examples, the fall is sudden. If eating one cookie leads to many more cookies you’re bound to start noticing weight gain soon. It can take days and you start noticing a change. This acts as an early warning flag letting you go back on track before gaining too much weight. Similarly if skipping one workout leads to more skipping (not literally…), you’re about to start feeling sluggish and that acts as an early sign reminding you to go back to your exercise regimen.
However if skipping one sensory activity leads to skipping several, you are bound to face a meltdown that could take hours to get over and leave deep (some would say traumatic) scares on your parenting energy reserves. The warning signs are much more difficult to see and the drop from the slippery slope is sudden.
So I came up with this mantra. 5 minutes now saves 2 hours later. 5MN>2HL
And every time I’m tempted to skip this one sensory activity with one of my kids I keep repeating the mantra: 5MN>2HL.
5 min is usually not even 5 but often much less, yet 2 hours is too often much longer with a tail of residual effects. So 5MN>2HL works!
It works when I’m at home watching TV and the app reminds me it’s time for heavy work for my daughter. I know that whatever effort I need to excerpt now is much less than what a meltdown would require me later.
It works when we are on the way to a play date and I get a reminder. 5MN>2HL. Being 5 min late to the play date is nowhere near managing a meltdown later.
It works when we are in a hurry to get out the door in the morning. Even then 5MN>2HL history proves that taking a couple of minutes to jump can get us to school in time much faster than coping with a meltdown on the way.
It works when I just want to put the kids to bed and crash with a good book. 5MN>2HL: delaying my quiet time for a few minutes of strong hugs and hand squeezing, has the best return on investment available if you value your quiet time.
So 5MN>2HL works, remember that next time you have a sensory activity to do with your kid.