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Help - 5 year old taking ages to do ANYTHING!

(11 Posts)
amumoftwolovelyboys Thu 22-Jan-15 11:47:09


This is my first post on Mumsnet, so please bear with me if I haven't got all of the lingo right!

I have a five year old son who has absolutely no sense of urgency. Now I know this is probably a very common thing, but he really is sooo slow and it's extremely frustrating. I want to teach him self-responsibility by letting him dress himself, brush his own teeth, etc. but it's just allowing him more time to dawdle around, making us late all the time! I then get angry because he's taken so long, and he gets himself in a state (he's a bit dramatic!) and I feel like my efforts in trying to help him take a bit of ownership for regular tasks are completely useless.

Has anyone got any advice on how to hurry him up in a nice, constructive way please? As well as allowing him to take responsibility for getting dressed, etc?

Oh, and yes I have read the article about how the mum stopped telling her child to hurry up, and yes I agree to a certain point, but there are times (ie going to school) that you can't be late for!

Thank you!

ghostinthecanvas Thu 22-Jan-15 15:31:46

Have you tried a timer and stickers? For a while my kids had a checklist. No tv on in the morning and breakfast last. Except for the school jumper, guaranteed a spill if that was on! Have a reward for maybe 20 stickers to keep the motivation going. Good luck op. I found when it all was going badly a bit of singing changed the mood too. Make up songs as you go, getting dressed songs, shaking your butt is guaranteed to get most kids co operating.

Iggly Thu 22-Jan-15 16:50:13

He is only 5.

I don't let my five year old brush his teeth. He wouldn't do it properly. I also help him get dressed when need be.

We don't make a big deal of things, just try and build enough time in.

He is getting more self reliant - getting himself drinks, helping me make his lunch etc.

But if I want him to get dressed quickly I help. At the weekends, I leave it to him.

Ellie8Mae Thu 22-Jan-15 19:37:38

I second Iggly's approach. My DS is four and loves drama, especially if there is a mirror about do he can watch himself being dramatic!!! There is considerable pressure from school for independence but I try hard not to replicate at home. It has been hard not to feel the pressure too! I also have charts where you have a picture of each element of getting dressed. Sometimes he can do it all by himself. Others he needs me to do it! I am getting better at judging which is which! No solid answers I am afraid.

AlwaysDancing1234 Fri 23-Jan-15 08:56:04

DS is now 7 and drives me loopy with his dawdling! Yet if it's a Saturday and we are going to meet a friend he can be up, washed and dressed in 10 minutes! I found a visual checklist can help, really break it down into tiny chunks. When DS was younger and couldn't tell time we also bought a sand timer so would give him 5 minutes to do a task and he could see from the sand running down that he needed to hurry up! He still dithers and dawdles now, it's just his nature I guess!

IWillOnlyEatBeans Fri 23-Jan-15 13:56:25

DS1 is 5 next month and sounds similar to your DS. He is perfectly capable of getting dressed himself, getting his toothbrush ready and starting off his teeth, getting his shoes on etc. BUT he faffs about and dawdles and gets distracted by wrestling with his brother or reading his Spider-Man book and therefore takes forever to do any of these things. Mornings can get a bit tense if we are in a hurry.

No advice as we are still suffering through it!

However I am going to start a reward chart for proactive/independent/TIMELY behaviour - such as getting dressed. I will let you know how we get on...

MoJangled Fri 23-Jan-15 22:24:08

The only thing that works with 4yoDS is a telly bribe. If he gets dressed, does teeth, has breakfast, and there is still time before leaving for preschool, then he can watch a bit of telly. If he dawdles, out of time and no telly.

Worth remembering that while you're nagging him he's getting your attention, while he's getting on with it, you're doing something else. Where's the mileage in getting on by yourself? The best approach I've come up with is getting ready races, with us in the same room getting dressed together, but doesn't always work.

Good luck!

amumoftwolovelyboys Sun 25-Jan-15 23:43:38

Thanks so much for all your replies, definitely some good tips to try there. And always reassuring to know that it's not just me finding this frustrating! X

IWillOnlyEatBeans Fri 30-Jan-15 14:16:35

Stickers currently working well with DS1. He has got one every morning this week and I haven't had to do ANY nagging shock

We are off to Tesco after school to choose a small reward...

FinnJuhl Fri 30-Jan-15 14:28:20

My DS's reception teacher had a great tactic for this, as she'd play the Star Wars theme tune while the children were getting changed for PE. Apparently this has been shown to help by various studies, as the music keeps them focused and their minds don't wander.

I often end up humming it to him myself, especially at toothbrush time.

BlueChampagne Fri 30-Jan-15 20:23:37

Try the Quick kids app - basically a mobile timer and sticker system.

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