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5 Ways to Get Your Slowpoke Moving

Is your kid a bit of a slowpoke? Here's how to get him going.

By
Cheryl Butler,
July 17, 2016
Episode #387

Page 1 of 2

Not only do kids come in different shapes and sizes, they are also blessed with unique personalities, gifts, strengths, and of course, challenges. Some are artistically inclined, have athletic abilities, better problem-solving skills, are more outgoing than others, and are even better rule followers. And just as they have these assets, every child also faces a challenge or two as well. Some are shy and a bit more introverted, others are not as well-organized or able to stay on task as well, and for every Speedy Gonzales in our midst, many families have just the opposite to deal with—those wonderful kids we love beyond words but move more at a snail’s pace and are lovingly referred to as a slowpoke.

I know because I have a couple of kids who move at a much more relaxed pace than the rest of the family, and in all honesty, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes they truly do need a gentle nudge to pick up the pace. Today, Mighty Mommy shares five tips to help your slow motion child kick it up a notch.

Tip #1:  Stay Positive  

Kids who tend to move slower than others could be doing so for several reasons. The slowpoke stage generally coincides with the start of preschool or kindergarten, says Michele Kambolis, a registered child and family therapist and founder of Vancouver’s Harbourside Family Counseling Centre: “Children with inattention, anxiety and those who get frustrated or discouraged easily are especially susceptible to dawdling,” she says. 

That said, it’s really easy for parents to lose their patience with their slower-moving child and vent these frustrations out loud to try and motivate him/her along at a faster pace. Avoid labeling your child with names such as a slo poke or dawdler and certainly be careful not to refer to him/her as lazy. Instead shift your energy into a more positive tone. "How about if we have a race against the clock this morning? I’ll set the kitchen timer and you have to get your teeth brushed, hair combed and outfit on before it buzzes. I’ll be racing against the timer too, to get your lunch packed. Let’s see who is fastest?” Try and have a peppy tone and be as fun and encouraging as you can. If he does get ready before the timer goes off, offer a little incentive like watching a little extra TV before bed that night.  See Also:  5 Ways to Speak Positively to Children

Tip #2:  Evaluate Family Habits

My mother pointed out something very interesting to me when I was struggling with a couple of my own kids who didn’t want to move at my speed. She reminded me that young kids haven’t learned the art of multi-tasking like we adults have.  Most kids enjoy concentrating on just one thing at a time, so while this might not fit into our time schedule, it certainly makes good sense to them. If you are faced with one or more kids who need to pick up the pace, a good place to start is by taking a few minutes to evaluate your family’s habits. Do you hit the snooze button on your own alarm several times before rolling out of bed? Is your daughter’s bedroom organized so she can easily find her socks, an outfit and her backpack? Is your toy room picked up at the end of the day so when your kids wake up they aren’t tripping over their games, trucks and dolls that are now an easy distraction rather than allowing them to head right to the breakfast table and eat their cereal so they can get dressed and out to school?

Take an honest look at one or two areas that you can organize a bit better in order to help streamline your family’s busy periods throughout the day. This alone can help move your child along at a faster clip.

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