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how can I get ds(5) to stop using the 'I can't do it' phrase and get him to do things for himself?

(5 Posts)
griffalo2 Thu 16-Jun-11 22:26:18

Everything is a constant battle

He won't dress himself,put shoes or coat on,feed himself,even things like puttin his wooden train track together he demands he needs help.just won't attempt to do anything on his own.
Has anybody else been through this?
Does it get better?

snailoon Fri 17-Jun-11 09:46:45

I haven't been through exactly this, but it sounds like he just wants attention and is used to getting it this way.
I have a couple of off-the-cuff ideas you could try--

Turn it into a joke and start needing help with all sorts of silly things yourself--get him to help you eat, get dressed, blow your nose. Make absurd attempts to do these things which he then has to help you with (trying to feed yourself through your ear, etc. Make him laugh.

Just trust that he will grow out of it.

Give him lots of attention, but then ignore him when he has to do one of the dreaded tasks. For example, suppose you are planning to do something he likes in an hour. Read him a story he loves, with lots of cuddles, then play a game with him, then say: "As soon as you are dressed we can go to the park", and leave him to it.

Do you have other kids? Is he doing this to get you away from the baby? or is he a cherished only child who needs to learn that he isn't the centre of the universe?

He will grow out of it.

titferbrains Fri 17-Jun-11 10:16:33

Can you find a good book which has a story about trying? I am thinking of the Little Engine that could - perhaps demonstrating that we have to try a few times before we achieve something?

How about cooking? good for "having a go" and making a mess and trying things out.

zipzap Fri 17-Jun-11 20:01:45

ds(6) is like this. Some of it is an attention thing I am sure, he especially loves getting his dad to help hom get dressed or wash his hair.

Some things he gets that he has to try and try at to get good - so he can now whistle and ride a bike which both took perserverence. And he is (usually!) ok at doing violin practice.

But there are still things that he just says can't. Or won't. Dressing and reading being the worst two things. Sometimes having a race to beat me, dh or little brother will help but some days he'll just decide that he doesn't want to win - usually couched in terms that the winner is the one that comes last. And I try to be really consistent that he can't do xxx until he does yyy which is helping. Giving a 3-2-1 countdown that if he doesn't do xxx then he won't get yyy (bribery with a few mins on iPhone working well at the moment).

But it is slowly getting better - when not being used as a means of testing mummy's boundaries!

griffalo2 Fri 17-Jun-11 20:43:16

I think it probably is because hes an only child,im probably too soft aswell.
I do the 1 2 3 but I feel so bad after,how much can I expect him to be doing for himself at this age?
He sometimes starts saying he can't do it then he manages to do it before finishing sentence.eg.opening sweet or crisp packets.
Which makes me think its just a habit.
He can ride bike but says he can't same with reading.

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