ASK AMY

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Life - You can con­tact Amy Dick­in­son via email: askamy@amy­dick­in­son .com. Read­ers may send postal mail to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can fol­low her on Twit­ter @ask­ingamy or “like” her on Face­book.

DEAR READ­ERS: I re­cently ran a ques­tion from “Prompt In-Law,” who re­ported that her beloved daugh­ter-in-law was chron­i­cally late. In my an­swer, I re­flected on this com­mon an­noy­ance. I sug­gested that the MIL should speak with her frankly about it, con­tinue with their on-time plans and take sep­a­rate trans­porta­tion to avoid frus­tra­tion.

I’ve re­ceived hun­dreds of re­sponses to this let­ter. With the holiday sea­son ap­proach­ing, I thought I would share read­ers’ ex­pe­ri­ences.

DEAR AMY: I have two points to share for par­ents of dis­or­ga­nized chil­dren.

1) Try not to yell when you are al­ready late. I’m al­ready anx­ious, and the yelling means every thought falls right out of my head. Wait for a qui­eter mo­ment to cor­rect the late child.

2) Try to teach your child to break down the process of leav­ing the house into steps. “We’re leav­ing in 15 min­utes. Did you pack your bag? Do you know where your coat is? Where are your keys? Do you have a wa­ter bot­tle?”

As she gets older, try, “We’re leav­ing in 15 min­utes. Tell me what you need to do be­fore we get out the door.”

– The Time Op­ti­mist

DEAR AMY: I used to run 20 to 30 min­utes late for ev­ery­thing. I ra­tio­nal­ized that I was just busy. One day, a close and brave friend con­fronted me.

“I cher­ish our time to­gether, but your chronic tar­di­ness is rude and be­neath you,” he said. “And the un­avoid­able con­clu­sion is that you think your time is more valu­able than mine. Please think about it.”

I did, and I changed … to my great ben­e­fit.

– Tom In Win­ter Park

DEAR AMY: I also have a chron­i­cally late rel­a­tive: my sis­ter. In 60-plus years, good old, “SlowS­top-and-Re­verse” hasn’t changed. But I have learned never to ask her to bring the ap­pe­tiz­ers.

– Tol­er­ant

DEAR AMY: We were friends with a cou­ple who were al­ways late, so when I in­vited them to din­ner, I told them to come an hour be­fore I planned to start serv­ing. For once in their lives, they were on time – and I was in the shower!

– Tol­er­at­ing Late­ness Now

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