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A Dawdling Child

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quiltinmommy
I think we discussed this before, but I can't find it and I am at the end of my rope!

My youngest daughter is a dawdler. She can turn a 15 minute assignment into an hour long event. I've tried incentives, I've tried punishment, I've tried talking to her patiently about why she needs to work, and I have tried absolutely everything I can think of. I had decided to try and break up larger assignments into segments to make it easier for her ... but she couldn't even get past the 2nd problem before I had to send her from the room as I was loosing my temper and was ready to discipline in anger.
I've had her dad speak to her.

I can bring her to school, but I can't make her work. Nothing I do is working with her ... I am SO ready to return her to school, but I know in my heart that it's not the best things for her ... and probably not even for me ... I know it won't solve the problem.

School is not her only problem... her nature is a dawdler. She does the same thing with chores and every other task or activity she's asked to do. Consistency is exhausting and I honestly do not follow through as well as I should.

She will not be playing soccer today, nor will she be going to Prims. She will have to stay with her daddy to finish her work.

Suggestions ... please...help ...

PS. I should say that she just came down and has decided to work. I'm thinking sitting on her bed with no privileges may be my only answer ... I really don't know. I hate her missing church, I don't like to punish my children with missing church, but something has to be done ... there has to be consequences for not obeying.
chocolatechic
Consequences is my answer. I don't punish my children with missing church, but ... if they aren't finished with school, they don't get to go to church in their class, they have to go to adult church.

If she misses out on all sorts of opportunities ... she might get a clue ... if she gets so backed up that she can't play in the evening, because she is sitting at her school desk...or play on Saturdays or Sundays ... because she is still doing school work ... dunno.gif

That is what it took for my dawdler...
quiltinmommy
I do make her stay late to work, her brother and sister are often done before her and she has less work than they do ... my problem is when it comes to all the other things we do. Co-op, soccer, tkd, church. As of now I have not made her sit out of any of those, but I think I need to.

The thing I hate ... is I get punished too.
chocolatechic
QUOTE(quiltinmommy @ Apr 26 2006, 11:43 AM)
I do make her stay late to work, her brother and sister are often down before her and she has less work than they do ... my problem is when it comes to all the other things we do. Co-op, soccer, tkd, church. As of now I have not made her sit out of any of those, but I think I need to.

The thing I hate ... is I get punished too.

Yes ... the daughter missed out on quite a bit of things ... and yes, the parent gets punished as well, but when the daughter finally saw that I wasn't going to back down, and she wasn't getting to do what everyone else was doing, she decided that time was more important. Also, every time she missed out on something, I would remind her that, had she been a better steward of her time, she would be participating too. I would also direct her to scripture on being a good steward as well. I also made sure that she was bored out of her skull when it came to "consequence" time ... if she had to stay home and miss something ... she didn't get to play, or watch a movie, or anything like that ... .she got to do nothing!!!
wings
I make it their problem and use their example as reasons to not give them requests.

Example 45 min for a 15 minute class. Mom can I watch a movie? No dear you will probably take too much time on your room and that will take away your movie time, Sorry. Too bad you haven't learned to do your things faster. smile.gif

I also use timers and set good things before them to encourage speedy work. As soon as you finish math and english you may have lunch. Lunch is being served between 12 and 12:30 only. So you need to hurry. whistling.gif A few treats and meals may be missed. Isn't that what PS did???

Watch out for the speed racer pendulum swing, this will happen and you need to be prepared to explain the balanced. Take the time you need but not too much. biggrin.gif
quiltinmommy
Thanks all ... timers didn't work. Tried that too. She wouldn't finish... we'd go to something else and have to come back to it later ...
Donna
My daughter takes a long time to do things too. I have never really been able to come up with a permanent solution. Once in a while I have successfully inspired her to speed up, but that is always temporary. Discipline, punishment, consequences have had no effect on my daughter other than making her -- mad, resentful, frustrated, sad, etc.. -- These qualities are just not the right responses.

I can only surmise that this is her state of being. She is a good girl, her slowness is not disobedience. She is smart, she does her work and she remembers what she reads and studies, it just takes too long. That is a problem for me because that goes against my goal for her. It is a problem for her because she is writing a book and because she takes so long doing her work, she has little time for her book. She does manage to mesh school and her book at times and on those days, school takes even longer, but at least she is happier.

In the past I used to place a 3-sided box around her and that seemed to help. dunno.gif We've done things in the past.. can't remember them all. She is very creative minded ... I don't know if that has anything to do with it or not.
2Bgracious
I have a question ... do you sit WITH her at the table while she works? I have a dawdler also AND he's a "quality time" child. If I go do something, even though he can work independently, he can stretch 30min into several hours. If I'm RIGHT THERE, he can finish in no time flat. (enough to make one crazy) He's slowly doing better, because I just CANNOT be on top of him all the time.
Donna
My daughter prefers that I not be in the same room with her because she finds me distracting. At the same time though, even now, at the age of 16, she has to get up and come hug me every hour or so.
Nana
Well we have same problem here... so when you all come up with something NEW let me know I have tried all the things you mentioned.
chocolatechic
QUOTE(Donna @ Apr 26 2006, 01:03 PM) *
At the same time though, even now, at the age of 16, she has to get up and come hug me every hour or so.
wub.gif
shelbygt
My DS is a dawdler too! Next week we are going to try the timer thing and also no fun stuff until all work is finished for for the day.
quiltinmommy
Yes I sit with her. I do think it's her nature to be more of a relaxed girl, but regardless we all have to learn to work within time frames and be responsible.

UGHHHHH! Sorry ... I feel like screaming ... it's better to scream at you all!
chocolatechic
QUOTE(quiltinmommy @ Apr 26 2006, 04:13 PM)
UGHHHHH! Sorry ... I feel like screaming ... it's better to scream at you all!

hugs.gif
Donna
QUOTE(quiltinmommy @ Apr 26 2006, 04:13 PM)
work within time frames and be responsible


yes.gif This is one of my BIG concerns. My daughter will have to take a timed college entrance exam at some point within the next 14 months. She is going to have to practice to get used to working fast. It's a flaming hoop that she must go through whether she likes it or not.


QUOTE
UGHHHHH! Sorry ... I feel like screaming ... it's better to scream at you all!

I completely understand... Scream away!!!


update.. I just got another hug. stunned.gif

(I DO appreciate the hugs and affection though)
Michelle
I had a couple of these, and for a while, my youngest was one too. SHe isn't anymore though ... thankfully!

I think it is true ... a personality thing. And it is also true, they DO have to live within time frames, etc.
wings
Can I mention one other thing? This is the way of things. My now 27 year old was a dawdler and did all the things mentioned. She took foreeeeeeeeeeever with chores, dressing, even eating would take her hours.

Now she is a very fast paced, time conscious, driven young women and manages a whole group of teen dawdlers. roflol.gif roflol.gif I tried all that I mentioned and just stuck to my guns and none of it ever really 'seemed' to make a difference. bomb.gif bomb.gif

Oooooooh, but it did. She blames me for being so particular and punctual!!! roflol.gif When I asked her once if there was anything I could have done to convince her to put the move on, anything I missed, that would have won her speedy cooperation. Her answer was a blunt, "No, not a thing." stunned.gif stunned.gif

So when you are struggling with this remember it is getting in the brain somehow, they will hear you words, if not today, tomorrow when they get a job or are the boss.

So when I say I 'do' something, I do. It works mostly but even when it doesn't I have set a standard before them to meet. So all is not lost go have a cup of tea and remember you signed on for the long haul not the short fix. biggrin.gif

Oh, and she still takes foreeeeeever to eat a meal. When we go to dinner I can bank on 2+ hours min eat time. She does tip very well thought. blush.gif

Hugs to all us perturbed Moms, lmfao.gif
tabv
I think we just had consequences... still do. Because some days are dawdling days and some are not... some days we are done with everything before lunch, and some days one is and one isn't, or you know what I mean, but on the days that we do not get everything done there are consequences for the things we missed.

I do have kids that prefer to work with me, but I can't always do that with a 3 year old, 1 year old, pregnant, and a house to work on LOL, but I try to work with them. Actually as they see what I do with the time away from them they seem to be more committed to getting some work done on their own, so they can show me the progress they've made when my full attention is on them again.

We also do the "this needs to be done before lunch" or dinner and "lunch is served between this and this time". Our dawdling also occurs with chores and clean up, and meals have occasionally been missed, or nearly so.

I do try to warn them ahead of time if we have a time issue that they need to be aware of, and most of the time they try to meet that, but if not, the consequences happen. So we do get tears and upset kiddos, but I can't back down because time is at times, important, if not all the time.

If I know they are just goofing around and not even trying to get something done, then I'm ever firmer on the consequences thing, if that's possible... where if it's that it's a rough day, something is bothering them, not feeling 100%, then that is taken into account and we make exceptions, if that makes sense.

Does everyone have days like that? With dawdling kids? And does everyone have a child like this? Around here it seems to be both, sometimes it's always one child that dawdles, and others, it's everyone... LOL
Sharilyn
QUOTE(tabv @ Apr 26 2006, 11:48 AM)
Does everyone have days like that? With dawdling kids? And does everyone have a child like this? Around here it seems to be both, sometimes it's always one child that dawdles, and others, it's everyone... lol


I've had similar issues. 2 out of the 3 aren't so bad. They actually enjoy getting their work done to move onto things THEY want to do. My oldest though, dunno.gif nothing seems to work. I finally came to terms with it and if he wants to sit there all day till dinner time - fine. But he knows if he has any questions, concerns, needs help, etc... he'd best ask my by 2:00 PM because my school day is over by then. It's gotten a little better since he's learned that but if I have to be out of the house for some reason I know that's its almost a wasted day with him and I just deal with it when I'm ready so that it's not all anger coming out at him and then I say or do things I dislike. There are days though that he seems to do fine. What's the difference? I have no clue. Sure wish I could figure it out. Not a clue what motivates that child. All the punishments in the world didn't help. He could care less. sad.gif
Melanie
QUOTE(tabv @ Apr 26 2006, 05:48 PM)
Does everyone have days like that? With dawdling kids? And does everyone have a child like this?


I can't speak for everyone, but you can add me to the list. rolleyes.gif My daughter d-r-a-g-s through the day (doing schoolwork interrupts her fidgeting, you see) and my son would rather stare at a single math problem for an hour than actually pick up a pencil and work it.

I used to get all bent out of shape about it, but I don't anymore. They just don't get up from the table until the work is done. And since we only eat at the table, we don't have lunch until the books are put away. Food is very important to them, and they will hurry so they can eat.
Mel
My 14yo son is a dawdler with everything, unless it's something he really wants to do. Math can take forever. Chores even longer. But pull out a skateboard & he's gone in a flash!!! stunned.gif
allbyfaith
As I read all the posts, I feel as if I am reading about my children. smile.gif We have 3 boys that dawdle and muddle through at times... My oldest is the greatest and much of his time is spent drawing wonderful artwork around his assignments. He is very artistic and creative, all 3 are.
Not sure if this is of any help but one thing I started to do was to look intently for where their interest was and began to customize their assignments to that desire. For instance when I could no longer stand that they were not writing much when given an assignment, but drawing elaborately, I told them the requirements to meet and they were then allowed to do a comic strip. Wow the effort that came forth. Or for my oldest who loves the computer, he can do his assignment in a power point presentation. Granted this does not always apply, like in math, but in many areas if I am willing to concede to their interests, I am finding that they do come my way in many areas. Other factors are how I am handling lessons...do I make the lessons my responsibility or theirs? When I leave it up to them to own, and they know the consequences, it usually gets done and sometimes it is a day or 2 late ... I have to trust that God will place within their hearts a desire to use their time well. Also remind myself that I dawdle with God when I know there is something He wants me to do or I make today mine instead of His.
Great to know that we are all among great company with our slow movers...but what a blessing they are clap.gif
quiltinmommy
QUOTE(wings @ Apr 26 2006, 05:05 PM)
remember you signed on for the long haul not the short fix. biggrin.gif

I love this statement ... I think I'm going to put it in my blog ... so I can reread it when necessary. Thanks!


UPDATE: Missing church last night was a hurtful consequence for my daughter. My husband had to peel her off of me so I could leave. This morning she woke up with a good attitude. She's dawdling at the moment, but I do feel this left an impact. I hope I don't have to repeat the consequence today.
chocolatechic
QUOTE(quiltinmommy @ Apr 27 2006, 09:17 AM)
UPDATE: Missing church last night was a hurtful consequence for my daughter. My husband had to peel her off of me so I could leave. This morning she woke up with a good attitude She's dawdling at the moment, but I do feel this left an impact. I hope I don't have to repeat the consequence today.

Many times, those hurtful consequences do the most good. I pray that you don't have to repeat it again, but should you have to, a time or 2 more, it, hopefully, will reinforce your stand.

grouphug.gif
hs4hmom
My son was a dawdler (probably still is for the most part). But in the last few months he has turned the corner. After months of harping on him to get his room done he has turned into a neat freak. Most days (not all) he will get his school work done without being told and he has become a conscientious helper. What happened to bring about this change? Beats me. Maybe the consequences thing finally worked. Maybe he just matured. Who knows??? I'm just grateful.

Now, I have to work on my 11 year old daughter dawdler. Sigh ...
quiltinmommy
QUOTE(chocolatechic @ Apr 27 2006, 09:57 AM)
Many times, those hurtful consequences do the most good.
grouphug.gif


I think this was the first consequence that she really cared about ... I got some flack about it from others at church ... about punishing her with church. It's not my favorite either ... but I needed to take a stand.
chocolatechic
Sorry that you caught flack, but YOU are the parent ... not them ...
Dr. Pepper
QUOTE(chocolatechic @ Apr 27 2006, 10:24 AM)
Sorry that you caught flack, but YOU are the parent ... not them ...

How true, Tanya!! Each child is different and the consequences need to be adjusted accordingly. What works for one does not always work for the other. The good thing is to find the one that works today!

I am thankful that I do not have a dawdling child and hope that I don't regret typing this statement. I am knocking on wood.

Donna
It seemed that in the middle years of school both of my kids poked much of the time. Here are two things I did that actually helped, it even helped my pokey little girl. The kids found these two things exciting and she must've got caught up in the excitement: (These things gave them a short-term object to work for.)

1. Had a list of things they were to do each day and they checked them off as they did them.

2. Math was their pokiest subject and for a while.. actually for as long as I enforced it, I had them on a routine (I'll dig it up if I have it ... I can't find it) Part of the routine was a 45 minute time segment for math followed by a 15 minute break. They worked hard to get that 15 minute break.. in fact, sometimes they did math in 30 minutes and earned a 30 minute break. It helped that they knew it was possible to do Saxon math in 45 minutes because for a time, I tutored a neighbor's girl and she did it in 45 minutes or less. (this was from either the 6/5 book or the 7/8 book.)

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