Seven Ways to Say Very Good, Part 2

Deliberate Procrastination

Hurry up and wait! Do you know a child who seems to constantly drag his or her feet? This behavior may be deliberate or unconscious. However, it sometimes calls for stronger action. One simple provocative statement can be the answer to create some sort of action. I don’t know a child who loves a lecture.

In fact, most kids can’t stand listening to a long, drawn out speech by a parent. But when kids procrastinate constantly, parents can take the following action. An example might be: “Billy, I was wondering if you were going to forget to put your dirty clothes in the hamper today, like you did last week and the week before? I am going to watch to see if you put your dirty clothes into the hamper this morning.” If your child does not do this task, you might say, “Maybe we need to have a talk tonight. What is a good time for us to have that talk?” To avoid the lecture, the child will usually do the chore.

Procrastination is a habit that can be broken by facing the negative consequences.

Kids Self-Evaluate

Make an impression on your kids by giving them an opportunity to evaluate themselves and their behaviors. It is common for kids to be tougher on themselves than adults. Have them come up with solutions to negative behaviors, and have them follow through with the consequences that they create. Another idea is to pre pay them for doing a task. Let the child determine if the money should be kept or given back. When kids are given the opportunity to problem solve on their own, they acquire a feeling of self-esteem.

Empower With Choices

This is a great exercise in decision making to assist children in making choices. Kids who have difficulty in completing tasks can become very frustrated, as well as the parent. Parents can try this idea to help promote their child’s confidence.

Example: Give your child five cards with a task written on each card. Tell your child if he or she will begin the task within 10 minutes (and point to the clock) and completes it, then only three tasks need to be done. The other two cards can be returned. The child thinks this is fair, and it is also empowering. This seems to promote a feeling of well-being. Recognize the accomplishment.

Recognize Improvement

Some kids feel that if they didn’t do anything well, no one would notice anyway. So, we need to notice their efforts. We can express our appreciation about it.

Interpret what you think the improvements mean, and tell your child. Example: “Johnny, I have not had to say a word about homework all week.

That really impresses me, and it tells me that you’re doing an excellent job of being more responsible.” Using specific words to describe the behaviors that have changed for the positive help kids to repeat them. Remember, some kids won’t tell us how they really feel. We can count ourselves lucky if we have developed open communication in the family and talk about feelings.

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