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Constant Lagging Behind - 7 Year Old

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Dd1 and I are having trouble in the mornings - wake her up for school, say it's time to get dressed. She sits on the bedroom floor staring into space tiredly, changes outfits several times, doesn't leave enough time for proper hygeine routine, and we are often standing out in the hall with our coats, shoes, bags, etc. waiting for her to slip her shoes on. I can't be late for work and it's very aggravating and anxiety provoking to get all rushed out the door, 3 kids to 2 different schools/daycares, and me get to work.


She is extremely strong willed (like her mama winky.gif) and doesn't seem motivated or respond with action when I ask her nicely. I try to gain her cooperation, positive discipline/reinforce desired behaviours, but inevitably the only time she moves her tooshie is when I start yelling. And I hate yelling. She hates it too.


When I pick her up from daycare and say it's time to go, she dilly dallys and hangs behind and visits with friends or checks out a couple of toys before coming to get her coat on. It's very frustrating to try to get out the door. She doesn't seem to care that it's difficult for her younger siblings to wait so long. The daycare people always give me looks because while dd1 dilly dallys, the other two are running around. If I grab and hold ds he tantrums.


Any suggestions for dealing with dd1's behaviour?

post #2 of 6
Hi Mama, I can relate! My dd is also a dilly-dally-er smile.gif

She is now 10 and much improved but I remember 7 as being the height of the problems with this in part b/c it's just past the age when you can realistically put them in their clothes/shoes etc.

I got a kitchen timer and made a morning routine list that hung on dd's wall...it went like this:

7 - 7:15 wake up, stretch, pet Maisie (our cat)

brush teeth, wash face - 10 minutes

get dressed - 10 minutes

eat breakfast - 15 minutes

7:55 leave for school!

I had her set the timer for each segment of the routine starting at 7:15.

She liked that I gave her some slow wake-up time first thing (sometimes I would give her cocoa then too).
I realized that in 2nd grade the pace had picked up at school and for her I think she was feeling rushed from the word "go" every day.
I always had her in bed by 8 with homework done and put away...backpack and other school items by the door...and this was big - clothes picked out *the night before*.

Those things really helped keep the peace, and dd is much more self-directed these days, but still doesneed a list.
post #3 of 6

i can relate to your dd. 


i was her. in fact sorta still am. 


dd is to, and we are the sit around staring into space in the morning kinda person. 


dd and i cannot stand being rushed. at 7 if you tried the timer with dd her anxiety would have sky rocketed to super high. if your dd can handle a timer then that makes it all the more easier for you. 


the answer is waking her up earlier so she has the time to stare into space. we are not a wake up and dash out the door person. 


could she get her clothes ready the night before. waking up and making decisions is very hard. dd finally at 10 does this on her own most days.


wake her up a half hour earlier than she already wakes up. she might be sleepy but she'll be able to function better. 


i have a sticky on the mirror that dd knows she has to do. it really helps her stay on task.


get out the door earlier.


i know it seems like you are catering to the one child but it does get better with age. 


daycare dilly dally. stay firm. guide her into gathering up her things and go. gotta stay on task. go go go. 

post #4 of 6
Ha! My daughter is so like this. It's maddening.

I kind of feel like people have different natural paces. I'm a rusher. My daughter does stuff slowly. I don't think one way is right, but that our natural paces are in conflict.

I make sure to get her up early enough so she has more time than I have, and we have a list posted of everything she needs to do in the morning. At first, I had to say, "Look at your list and see what you still need to do" a million times, but eventually she got pretty good at checking the list herself.

She's still slow, but I work on this by trying to think of ways to accommodate her pace rather than change her pace. My husband is the same way and maybe he gave me practice. I don't think you can change people who have this relaxed pace.
post #5 of 6

It sounds like transitions are tough for her. Can you build vegging-out time into her morning? Maybe make a playlist of 3-4 quiet songs for her to listen to while she wakes up, and when they're over it's time to get up and get dressed? My DS's teacher uses music for the transitions in class, and the kids really seem to respond to it.  


Also, could you have her choose an outfit the night before? And maybe have her bring her clothes downstairs to change so that she's not in her room where she can easily keep selecting new items? The idea of having a morning checklist sounds like a good one, and might give her the feeling that she's in control instead of feeling like you're telling her what to do next (not that that's wrong of you, but I know sometimes with my kids they're more likely to do something when they feel like it's their idea). 


For daycare, could you have her DCP give her a heads-up when there's 10-15 minutes left in the day, so that she can start her transitional time then instead of when you arrive? 

post #6 of 6

How is she at other times?  Does she usually have relaxed pace? If not, maybe she doesn't have enough sleep for a day or maybe daytime activities overload.

This happens to my DD when she feels tired or doesn't have enough sleep. But when she sleeps enough, she wakes up easily, then I tell her "let's see who runs to bathroom faster, who wears clothes or finish breakfast faster...".

At daycare, my DD dilly dallys too, she's having fun so it's hard to ask her to go. But I usually give her something she likes so she wants to go right away, like helping mommy cut vegetables, going to the park, making some crafts at home...

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