Our six year old is a major dawdler. I’ve heard that this is a characteristic of six year olds in general, and six year old boys in particular. He dawdles when he showers, gets dressed, puts on is shoes, and does his homework, among other things. It drives me crazy!
If I want him to do something, I have to stay on top of him until he completes the task. I jokingly call him the “Dawdle Monster,” which he finds very amusing. While I want him to be independent, there are times when I’m compelled to dress him or put on his shoes for him, because I just don’t have the energy to make him do it himself! Now there’s some irony for you.
I have, however, learned a few tricks. For example, I make him get dressed in his room, alone, and with the door shut. Since ge wants to be in the thick of things, he’s motivated to get done and get out of there. I also make him sit down before I hand him his shoes to put on. It’s harder for him to run off and get distracted when he’s sitting on his butt.
The pinnacle of this behavior was last year during kindergarten — I thought I was going to go insane! I must admit that he’s improved a lot over the last year. In fact, he has recently started surprising me by sometimes actually staying on task. But then there are the times when he reverts to his old ways… But if I see it coming, I do my best to nip it in the bud.
One interesting point… He almost never dawdles when he eats, for which I can be grateful… And proud. To be honest, I’m sure he gets that from me… I never dawdle when I eat either!