The musings of ME:
SAH mother of 3 kids, spouse of a doctor-in-residency, caretaker and teacher of random children.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Staller

Do you have one of these children in your home? The child who, when you ask him to do something, finds everything else interesting on the way?

I just love my 4-year-old, Jackson. He is smart. He is funny. He is kind. But this boy is S-L-O-W to get anything done. Part of this is that he gets very easily distracted. But recently, he has discovered that he can buy himself time if he pretends he doesn't hear me or flat out ignores me until I MAKE him do what I asked. When I finally do get him to acknowledge that I have asked him to say, pick up his toys in the playroom, he'll appease me by picking up a toy or two until I stop focusing on him and move on to my next task, and then he'll find an extremely interesting piece of fuzz on the carpet or a great book he's been meaning to read. A half hour will pass, and I'll find him completely engaged in a full battle with his action figures, more toys on the floor than when I left him. Note: this problem gets worse if naptime or another undesirable activity is due to follow.

As a person who is very task oriented, I find this immensely frustrating! So I'll get angry, and break down the task, barking direct orders such as, "Pick up the Spiderman guy. Put him in the bucket. Now pick up the Ironman guy. Put him in the bucket." I'll stand over him until the entire task is complete and we are both irritated with each other.

I so don't want to be this mom, and *with a new baby and an active 2 year old* don't have time to be, but how do I ensure that what I ask gets done without having to monitor the entire operation?

1 comment:

nikko said...

I have one of those. He's eleven now! With him, he truly has no concept of time. Even now it's hard for him to judge how long something takes to do. One thing that has helped us in the past with him is a timer. Buy a big one that you have to turn the dial and it clicks -- it's an auditory reminder for them that time is ticking and they need to stay on task. For example, you could set it for 3 minutes and tell him he has 3 minutes to clean up the action figures (or legos, or blocks or whatever it is, but try to be specific, because if you just say "pick up the toys" it doesn't happen). My bet is that it's work pretty well. ;o) You could just make it a race against the clock thing, or you can have it tied to an incentive/reward. (I.e. if you get your pajamas on in 5 minutes or less, we can have a bedtime story). It's worked for us!