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View as: GRID LIST

Dealing with my children who love to dawdle

1
Although it’s wonderful to have a break from the frantic mornings and non-stop ‘get your shoes/pants/coats’ heckling, next week we will revert to a routine when school starts. Which means there’s huge potential (let’s be honest, it WILL happen) to relapse to ‘Naggy Mother’ to get my children out of the door on time. After all being on time is my priority, not theirs’. Gone are the days when I was just responsible for getting myself ready and off to work, now I have two boys to get to school and nursery before the stroke of nine otherwise
SelfishMother.com
2
I’ll be given a naughty mark for tardy parenting. When you have a serious case of ‘Dawdle Children’ there is no running. None. I keep telling myself practice makes perfect.

1 – Create Routine
Establish a routine to create a rhythm of moving forward. If children know they should get dressed before breakfast or vice versa, then there’s no shock, no last-minute twist to provoke a tantrum or feet stamping session. In theory….

2 – Set Expectations
It’s also important to set expectations. No, my children cannot tell the time, but I can

SelfishMother.com
3
point to the wall clock at breakfast and tell them that we need to be brushing teeth by the time the big hand hits the twelve so that there will be time for a play.

3 – Discuss Consequences
Between the ages of three to five children develop a sense of time but let’s not get carried away that they necessarily grasp the consequences of being late. I have discussed with my children what will happen if they are late for school/nursery. My youngest child, who’s four, still thinks this means the police will arrest me (I was attempting to avoid

SelfishMother.com
4
extremes) yet my oldest understands (I think) that he will have to walk into the classroom on his own while class has started. This should create a sense of understanding about the impact of being late. That’s what I keep telling myself.

4 – Be Organised
It’s also important to be a role model for your children in the form of being organised yourself. Children copy adult behaviour so if we are rushing around every morning, it’s not hard for them to believe it’s normal or copy the behaviour.

5 – Communication is vital
Like so many

SelfishMother.com
5
aspects of parenting, communication is key. I explain to them what we need to do when we need to leave the house and how much time we have for breakfast etc. It may sound extremely rigid and military, but it generally works for me and mine because expectations are managed, or at least some of the time.

6 – We’re not all the same
Children are different. I used to be that angel child always keen to do the right thing, yet my brother would procrastinate and find anything to do but his school work. In response, my mum had to discuss with him what

SelfishMother.com
6
time he would start his work when he could have a break and what he could do for fun once it was complete. So, although it’s more work for parents, it’s important to understand what motivates your child and the best way to encourage them to complete a task or get on with something.

7 – Consider each situation
I once tried to negotiate with my five-year-old to get a ‘move on’ so we wouldn’t be late for a party. Okay, I admit, it was blatant bribery. I told him that if he hurried up I would make him his favourite dinner. Which he did, and I

SelfishMother.com
7
did. Yet I had set an expectation that whenever he did something I asked, he could get what he wanted. Did it really matter if we were a bit late for a child’s party? Of course not, and I should have realised that and relaxed and maybe then my child would have relaxed too.

I honestly believe that parents should choose their battles with their children. Don’t be too hard on yourself because no matter how effective you are, it may be impossible to stop nagging entirely, especially on the school run. Please don’t leave me to be the only naggy mum

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8
in the playground.
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- 19 Feb 19

Although it’s wonderful to have a break from the frantic mornings and non-stop ‘get your shoes/pants/coats’ heckling, next week we will revert to a routine when school starts. Which means there’s huge potential (let’s be honest, it WILL happen) to relapse to ‘Naggy Mother’ to get my children out of the door on time. After all being on time is my priority, not theirs’. Gone are the days when I was just responsible for getting myself ready and off to work, now I have two boys to get to school and nursery before the stroke of nine otherwise I’ll be given a naughty mark for tardy parenting. When you have a serious case of ‘Dawdle Children’ there is no running. None. I keep telling myself practice makes perfect.

1 – Create Routine
Establish a routine to create a rhythm of moving forward. If children know they should get dressed before breakfast or vice versa, then there’s no shock, no last-minute twist to provoke a tantrum or feet stamping session. In theory….

2 – Set Expectations
It’s also important to set expectations. No, my children cannot tell the time, but I can point to the wall clock at breakfast and tell them that we need to be brushing teeth by the time the big hand hits the twelve so that there will be time for a play.

3 – Discuss Consequences
Between the ages of three to five children develop a sense of time but let’s not get carried away that they necessarily grasp the consequences of being late. I have discussed with my children what will happen if they are late for school/nursery. My youngest child, who’s four, still thinks this means the police will arrest me (I was attempting to avoid extremes) yet my oldest understands (I think) that he will have to walk into the classroom on his own while class has started. This should create a sense of understanding about the impact of being late. That’s what I keep telling myself.

4 – Be Organised
It’s also important to be a role model for your children in the form of being organised yourself. Children copy adult behaviour so if we are rushing around every morning, it’s not hard for them to believe it’s normal or copy the behaviour.

5 – Communication is vital
Like so many aspects of parenting, communication is key. I explain to them what we need to do when we need to leave the house and how much time we have for breakfast etc. It may sound extremely rigid and military, but it generally works for me and mine because expectations are managed, or at least some of the time.

6 – We’re not all the same
Children are different. I used to be that angel child always keen to do the right thing, yet my brother would procrastinate and find anything to do but his school work. In response, my mum had to discuss with him what time he would start his work when he could have a break and what he could do for fun once it was complete. So, although it’s more work for parents, it’s important to understand what motivates your child and the best way to encourage them to complete a task or get on with something.

7 – Consider each situation
I once tried to negotiate with my five-year-old to get a ‘move on’ so we wouldn’t be late for a party. Okay, I admit, it was blatant bribery. I told him that if he hurried up I would make him his favourite dinner. Which he did, and I did. Yet I had set an expectation that whenever he did something I asked, he could get what he wanted. Did it really matter if we were a bit late for a child’s party? Of course not, and I should have realised that and relaxed and maybe then my child would have relaxed too.

I honestly believe that parents should choose their battles with their children. Don’t be too hard on yourself because no matter how effective you are, it may be impossible to stop nagging entirely, especially on the school run. Please don’t leave me to be the only naggy mum in the playground.

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Corporate to Kids

Who: Sarah - Queen of self-deprecation Job: from corporate HR career to Mum, Writer and Blogger Children: two boys with a 13 month age gap!! Obsessions: writing, Haribos, rainbows, coffee, fizz

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