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How many times have you said to your child: stop, think about this. Or, stop and wait. We, as parents, are so mindful of when our children need that pause. That powerful five second pause. And I don’t just mean with the five second rule.

So why don’t we, as adults, take a five second pause?

When children are younger and their brains are still developing, this five seconds of processing time gives them the time that they need to think, process, form words, and verbalize. And when used in day-to-day situations, we set our children up for more positive interactions.

It’s really high time that we, as parents, start incorporating this five second pause into our time management strategies.

Why there is magic in a five second pause as a parent


This act of pause, helps us actively reflect. It gives us the choice and the chance to think. And now, we are not only giving our children the chance to speak, but we are also giving ourselves the chance to listen. 

Here’s the simple magic of the five second pause in parenting:

  • We don’t need to have all the answers right away
  • We don’t need to have perfect answers
  • We don’t jump to conclusions
  • We don’t answer the question we think our children are asking because we are actively listening to them
  • We only answer the question they are asking
  • We give our children the opportunity to gather their thoughts and verbalize

Now, in this day and age when everyone seems so crunched for time? You may wonder: really, five seconds? Or, I can’t afford to waste five seconds. 

But those five seconds are powerful and magical when it comes to our children. 

We are allowing ourselves the time to absorb what they are saying.

How to use the five second pause with your children


You can start this easily:

  • Ask the question
  • Make eye contact and pause
  • Wait for their answer, and count backwards slowly to four (One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, four Mississippi)
  • Respond

That five second pause gives your child the chance to process and understand information. And when we pause, we are also giving ourselves a chance to process the situation.

But, it’s not just the pause that helps children, this also helps adults. 

The five second pause goes hand-in-hand with:

  • Respectful body language
  • Non-verbal communication (eye contact)

And remember: that five second pause? It is powerful and it is magical.

Will it change things overnight? Certainly not. But, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try.

More Mindfulness Tools for Adults with ADHD


The five second pause can be used when we are interacting with other adults, too. In fact, taking that time for the five second pause? It also helps me with my overthinking.

My brain tends to go into instant analysis mode and I will start to imagine every possible outcome. 

But, if I remind myself that I only have five seconds to think and reflect; I’m less prone to analysis paralysis. 

Is it fail-proof? Of course not. 

But it certainly does help when I use with some of my other mindfulness techniques. 

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Digital Product Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is a late diagnosed autistic/ADHD mom. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodiverse family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. A blogger, podcaster, writer, product creator, and coach; Kori shares autism family life- the highs, lows, messy, and real. Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori is on a mission to empower moms of autistic children to make informed parenting decisions with confidence and conviction.

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