Dawdling is almost certain to occur whenever your little one faces a task that is boring or disagreeable or maybe you are asking him to do something he is not willing to do. These kinds of jobs are often unwittingly reinforced by the overworked parents who are always in a rush and tend to overreact when their youngster respond slowly.
The youngster thus learns one more way to annoy his parents. But there is another side to dawdling that parents should be aware of –sometimes what seems intentional dawdling may not be intentional at all. Until the age of five or six, a child does not have much understanding of time and may not share your concern about punctuality.
Build a reasonable consistent routine in your child’s daily schedule. Get him up and dressed at the same hour and arrange meals, play session and naps so they consume about the same length of time each day.
Gradually your youngster will absorb a sense of the schedule he is expected to follow. When there are to be special events, alert your child well in advance and begin your preparations far enough ahead that you do not have to rush. Tension only makes a dawdler more uncooperative.
Make boring or repetitive tasks more enjoyable by turning them into racing games. Allow enough time for your youngster to succeed in these races. Another approach is to make finishing the task at hand a condition for starting a more pleasant activity. You can even take him to the park or arrange for some interesting activity at home.
Praise him as he goes along and be sure to deliver the reward he has won just as soon as the job is done. Above all, do not nag, up to the point, it is better to let him dawdle along than to engage in a test of wills.
As a subtle prod, you might remind him that he has wasted some of his valuable play time. You have to be patient while doing all these because children do not learn rapidly and they have trouble linking one experience to another.