Mothering Forum banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

My DD just turned 4 years old, and I have a 1 month old as well. I am desperate to get out the door to do things and keep active to stay positive. I am struggling with motivating my daughter to get ready to go out (or for that matter, for bed, to come and eat a meal, or to do anything else). I find this EXTREMELY frustrating and loose patience quickly. This then makes it hard to remain positive, and the cycle begins with my struggles.


Any suggestions on motivating a 4 year old? I sat with her last night when I was asking her to do the various steps to get ready for bed, and I realized that she gets easily distracted. I would ask her to brush her teeth, and she would go into the bathroom and instead of brushing her teeth, she would be playing with the water tap and her toys. I don't think she intends to not listen to me, but that she just finds other things more interesting and would rather play? The same is the case when I ask her to put on her pyjamas, instead she played with her toys.. I sat on the bed and asked her what she was to be doing, and she knows, but needed that reminder to stay on task. Do I need to sit with her to keep her on task, or is there a better way to get her motivated to do it on her own? (That said, she just came down this morning wearing her clothing that we set out last night for her to wear today...Nice!)

Thanks for sharing....

S
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I don't really have any good suggestions, just sympathy because I know how you feel. I have an almost four year old, and he is a crazy dawdler! It can be frustrating to no end, but it's also in a child's nature to dawdle. Life is super interesting to them-every detail. They don't always have the focus we do to complete a task. When I know we have to go somewhere, I try to plan some of extra getting-ready time (15-20 extra mins) to compensate. Some days are better than others. When I find myself getting really frustrated, I try to look at things from his point of view. He doesn't realize his dawdling is making us late, nor do I think he can understand that. I just keep reminding him of what we need to be doing and if I can allow him a little sidetracking, it helps him cooperate. For instance, hold a toy while we brush teeth or put on pj's. Go do x y z and then put shoes on. Like I said, it takes extra time, but it can help. Don't know if any of this will help you, but good luck and know you are not alone!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
270 Posts
I think that sort of behavior is totally typical and age appropriate and what you are doing (reminding her) is also appropriate.

I have to tell you - my children are school age and we still go through this every morning. "Put your shoes on. Where is your backpack? Do you have your lunch?" Some kids are just more easily distractible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,620 Posts
Yep, totally normal. With a school-age child here, I still have to do the same thing. I find myself saying, "What did I ask you to do?" a lot, and often he can't even tell me. One thing that helps (besides standing there and reminding over every single step which drives me bonkers) is to ask him to repeat what I've said. If it's more than a one-step instruction, I'll ask him to repeat all of it twice. Then I go do my own thing. Usually he'll show up, often having forgotten something, and I'll ask him again what he was supposed to do and remind him as necessary (for example, "Hmm. What's missing from your feet?"). Repeat. Repeat. It's really key for me to realize that he doesn't forget on purpose. Remembering that helps me keep my patience!

For the everyday things, we do a chart, which works really well. If he's off task in the morning, I'll ask him to check his chart and make sure he's done everything on it. I find it way easier to keep my patience if I only have to ask him to check his chart than if I have to ask him to get his lunch 14 times. It seems silly having a chart that's so detailed it has "put socks on" on it, but it definitely helps us get out of the house. FWIW, we also have one for after school and one for after dinner. Those were our big trouble spots. Our son is a little older, but perhaps you could do a chart with picture cues (like a toothbrush, pajamas, etc.)? She's old enough to go check a chart and put an x on a square to mark that she's done it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by rainyday View Post
For the everyday things, we do a chart, which works really well. If he's off task in the morning, I'll ask him to check his chart and make sure he's done everything on it. I find it way easier to keep my patience if I only have to ask him to check his chart than if I have to ask him to get his lunch 14 times. It seems silly having a chart that's so detailed it has "put socks on" on it, but it definitely helps us get out of the house. FWIW, we also have one for after school and one for after dinner. Those were our big trouble spots. Our son is a little older, but perhaps you could do a chart with picture cues (like a toothbrush, pajamas, etc.)? She's old enough to go check a chart and put an x on a square to mark that she's done it.
Hello!

Well, it's nice to know that this is normal. We continue to have this problem and my hubby said to me yesterday: "Is it just me, or does she not listen to what I say?" He he he.

We have a general star chart that I use for a variety of things to getting dressed in the morning to sleeping in her own bed for the whole night. Maybe I need something more specific because I find that not a whole lot has changed with her behaviour. Frankly, I have just learned that I need to prepare to get everyone ready an hour and a half early otherwise I won't get anywhere on time or I have to rush so much that I get angry and frustrated. Maybe this is reality and I'll just have to stick to it! I sure hope I can ease it up a little bit though, before school starts in Sept!

Thanks for sharing everyone...

SoF
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,897 Posts
I think the idea of charts like the ones PP are suggesting aren't for rewards or praise, but just to help kids stay on track - like not stars for being "good"or to improve behavior, but a checklist just to get the job done, KWIM? It's a different mindset - it's not motivation for praise, it's just to be sure things get done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post
I think the idea of charts like the ones PP are suggesting aren't for rewards or praise, but just to help kids stay on track - like not stars for being "good"or to improve behavior, but a checklist just to get the job done, KWIM? It's a different mindset - it's not motivation for praise, it's just to be sure things get done.
Good point. I didn't think of that, but I think you are right. Given that, I think we're going to try it. When my DD was almost two we had a similar chart for brushing teeth, using potty, etc and it worked when we were able to stick to it.

I have also found that preparing things the night before, such as what clothing to wear and having bags packed makes a big difference. It once took us 10 minutes to choose a pair of shoes. They had to be 'just right'...

Thanks for your input...

SoF
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top