5 year old with zero motivation or concentration

(17 Posts)
Weallrolledoverandonefellout Thu 05-Sep-13 18:41:53

Does anyone have any tips or ideas as to how I can get my 5 year old to want to try...it isn't that she can't, or isn't able, it's that she won't...I am completely out of ideas beyond threatening and shouting, which I don't want to resort to...we have tried rewards, positive praise and gentle encouragement, but she doesn't want to please us or her teachers, and doesn't take any pride in anything. She will rush through something at school in order to be able to go and play, and will openly admit that. its the start of a new school year with a new teacher, and she isn't even remotely interested in trying to please them or show how much she knows or is able to do, school use a star reward system for good work/ effort, and even that doesn't motivate her...please help, I am beyond frustrated..thanks

ThePFJ Thu 05-Sep-13 20:03:19

My 5 year old had real problems concentrating at school and coping with routine changes..

Make a fun reward chart and get her to help you with the stickers.
My DS covered his with dinosaur stickers... then put it up where he can see it... make 2/3 simple rules to follow every day. We decided on 1. Do all your activities at school 2. Do as you are told and 3. Be a good friend. (the teachers tell us at the end of the day in a little blue book if there is any reason for ours not to get a star.)We write a reward to work towards on the chart for each week... week 1-5 can be a toy at the end of the week (you don't have to spend too much) and then every 2 weeks it can be a kinder egg instead or something.... and then space out the toys more etc....if she gets 5 star stickers in a row - or whatever you decide - she gets the reward written on the chart. I know it sounds silly... but my DS took to his chart like mad... I was so surprised.... he can see the days... what he has to do to get a star and he can see what he will get for following the rules.... the visual aid on the wall at his eye level really really helps.... my DS is 5 too and we started the chart in Jan this year as a last resort... wish we had tried it sooner!!! He never plays up at school now... the difference is amazing!

Also... sorry if I am going on too much.... I tell my DS we are a 'team' me and him, when we are at home or at the shops, and we work as a team to tidy together and do the dishes etc. I try and make him feel like he is really important, and that I can't do things without his help... at the shops he has the job of getting each item from the list from the shelves etc. and putting them in the basket. I try and involve him in EVERYTHING... tiring I know... massive positive praise for anything he does right... even sitting quietly for 5 minutes while I am on the phone... I almost throw a party for him LOL....

Good Luck xxxxxxxxx

ThePFJ Thu 05-Sep-13 20:06:22

(P.S. our school have a reward system too... but one at home with an actual toy or treat as a reward just really helped....plus ours is better focused on the school one now as well - working towards his golden time with his friends)

Weallrolledoverandonefellout Thu 05-Sep-13 20:27:26

Thank you for replying....it is so frustrating!, and I dont want to start nagging...will def try a chart, will work out rewards in advance as suggested...I'm off to 'design ' one now!...I'm glad to hear its not just mine!

to be fair... she's five! of course she would rather go out to play. I'd just go with it. have school said it's an issue?
i am sure she'll settle down as she gets older

ThePFJ Thu 05-Sep-13 21:43:53

Awww I am so glad you are trying it.... hopefully yours will really enjoy picking out stickers to put round the border and you can have choices for the rewards as well..... I know how frustrated you must be and my heart goes out to you sweetheart...... good luck!

LazyMonkeyButler Thu 05-Sep-13 21:50:39

5, you say? So Yr 1? What would you expect her motivation to do anything other than play be at such an age?

ThePFJ Fri 06-Sep-13 09:58:02

Most of the Year 1's my DS's age are motivated to join in with school activities..... o.O

One might argue that actually they are motivated to get a toy (ie play)

I'd rather my children grew up to enjoy learning for learning's sake.. Not because they think they'll always get a prize at the end.

ThePFJ Sat 07-Sep-13 22:17:45

Life is all about rewards... why do we go to school? To get an education so we can get a job... why do we get a job and go to work everyday? To get money to live... rewards.... Reward charts and rewards are proven in child psychology textbooks to prepare them for the idea that work = rewards.... Schools use star charts and reward systems.. are they wrong are they??? Why are you so against this??! hmm

ThePFJ Sat 07-Sep-13 22:18:59

P.S. I do agree that positive attention and praise are the best reward for good behaviour.

ThePFJ Sat 07-Sep-13 22:22:36

Plus now my DS has been on his reward chart for 6 months most of his rewards are building to him picking out a book he would like to add to his library every 2 weeks.

ThePFJ Sat 07-Sep-13 22:29:13

And I know you'll come back and say something else negative for the sake of it yesterday... so one final thought for you before I ignore this thread.....
I assume you DO treat your kids sometimes. We ALL do. And you would never treat your kids after they have been naughty... so why not add structure to it???!! Treats don't always have to be toys... they can be books or they get to decide what the family does that weekend.. whatever it is....
Plus may I say I am sick of negative people on mumsnet.... It really makes me sad.

Deffodil Sat 07-Sep-13 22:41:06

Leave them kids alone,I'd say(Pink Floyd) Try to be completely laid-back.
She's only 5. Feign indifference,it works wonders. Why should she have to impress anyone? You'll only create an anxious child.

Deffodil Sat 07-Sep-13 22:46:16

Before anyone barks,'feign' is the word.

ThePFJ Sun 08-Sep-13 01:18:30

I give up.... sometimes I wonder why I bothered to go to university to study education.

wow, you're very aggressive pfj.

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