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How to Speed Up a Dawdling Child

How to Speed Up a Dawdling Child

How to Speed Up a Dawdling Child

In this fast-paced world, we often feel like there is no extra time at all. Certainly we don’t want to have to waste time on someone else’s dawdling, but for parents of young children, its often not a matter of choice. If you are dealing with a dawdler in your home, you have the power to solve the problem.

What Not To Do

There are a number of well-tested strategies available for speeding up your child. The key is to keep yourself and the situation under control. Don’t simply tell your child to hurry up, hurry up, hurry up or they will learn to tune your nagging out. You will accomplish nothing that way. Similarly, getting angry or threatening to punish a slow child for being slow will simply teach them that they can get your attention this way.

If they are acting out, then they will continue to use the behavior to act out and if not, well then they a have learned a new way to get to you. Overly harsh punishments for dawdling will only result in your child’s resentment rather than their obedience. Finally, don’t go the other direction and bribe your child to speed up either. This will teach them that if they dawdle long enough that you might be willing to reward them for it.

Strategies For Disrupting The Dawdler

An option instead of getting upset is to give your child motivation to speed up. If you can involve them in the process of getting ready or distract them from their dawdling, then you will be much more likely to achieve the results you are seeking. Try proposing a race: “I’ll bet I can have my coat and hat on and be ready to go before you can!”. By changing the routine to a game, you alter your child’s response to the situation from apathy to engagement. Similarly, you can prepare a child for the coming change in activities and give them a goal to achieve.

You can also go down the avenue of letting them miss out on something as a consequence for dawdling. Warn them that in five minutes you will be leaving and then provide them with a timer or a countdown. If they do not make it on time, then let them be late or miss out on the next activity. This will teach them that poor time management has consequences in their life, which results in a valuable lesson for school and work.

Solve The Problem For The Long Term

Finally, if your child has developed a habit of dawdling, take the time to study the situation and determine the cause. This will help you to properly handle the problem in the future. Children dawdle for many reasons. The younger they are, the more likely they are to simply become distracted or absorbed in all of the different things that they encounter in their world. Additionally, very young children are still refining their motor skills and cannot move as fast as you can, nor should they be expected to.

An older child might take their sweet time as a way to exercise some control over their environment or as an attempt to act out negative emotions. And in the end, some children simply like to move more slowly through their day. Whatever the cause, once you have identified it, you will be much better equipped to deal with it in the long term.

Long-Term Consequences For Dawdling

If you don't deal with this problem now, your child will face consequences later in life. As adults, we are all expected to be to certain places on time and perform certain activities by a certain time. Your child will need to be on time for classes in college, finish their assignments by a deadline, and show up on time for work.

The consequences for failing to do these things are major. If they don't show up to class on time, they may see their grade fall over time. Failing to turn in assignments on time will result in lost points in earlier years, then zeroes in later years. If they don't show up on time to work, they will eventually get fired.

Dawdling can have social consequences, too. Your child will be seen as rude and inconsiderate of others' time if they consistently show up late. They could end up getting left out of plans entirely, which could cost them friendships. Many people don't have a lot of tolerance for those who cannot manage their time well.

By dealing with your child's dawdling now, you're setting them up for success in their future. It might seem like a minor problem now, but it can spiral into something bigger if it isn't dealt with. You don't need to be overly harsh about it. By following the advice we've given in this article, you'll be able to speed your child up and get them to stop wasting time.

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