Is your child showing little or no interest to work, be it social, educational, or house chores? Does your child lack the common sense of curiosity about the world around him or her? Do you often get irrational answers like I don’t care when you try to clarify a matter?
Does your child take pleasure in activities requiring little effort? Is your child’s character depicting one who has a strong sense of entitlement? If you answer ‘YES’ to most of these questions and many other behaviours unmentioned, then that may be a lazy child syndrome at work.
What works for a child may not work for the other, and most times apart from the factor of laziness in a child, what you do as a parent contributes greatly to the child’s attitude to work.
The main solution to laziness is motivation. If a lack of motivation gave birth to laziness, there must be reasons for it. These reasons could be due to anxiety resulting from frustration and discouragement in times past.
Children who show poor response to such attributes may find it difficult to bounce back. Even though as a parent you often believe you are motivating your child but do you know you might have been doing it the wrong way? Perhaps there are better ways that can make your lazy child develop a positive attitude towards work; make him/her inquisitive about the world around; learn to take responsibility; and ultimately become a great achiever in his or her life endeavour.
Motivation propels children and even adults to work. Therefore, your desire should be on how best to motivate your lazy child.
How to deal with lazy child syndrome
The following 8 tips will get you started on how to solve the lazy child syndrome.
1. Don’t make it too easy
There is a quote that says “Great things never come from comfort zones.” This is true to a reasonable degree. Avoid making things so easy for your child. It does not make him/her have value for things; rather, it creates a sense of entitlement. This seems funny, right? You can be sure that this could make your child furious, but it pays in the long run as he or she begins to learn the importance of valuing things.
This can be achieved by giving rewards for the things done without the need to compel. Are you wondering how to determine rewards or earnings for a lazy child? This is so easy. Simply look out for his/her actions, interest, and what he or she enjoys such as playing games, chatting with friends, watching the television, going to the movies and playing football etc.
Make a list of the activities of items that can be used as reward, so it’s easy to tie them to specific tasks. Now, it’s time to try it out, give a daily responsibility, and tell your child what he or she stands to benefit. For example, tell your child she could earn money for her favourite chocolate, see a movie or enjoy additional hours of screen time.
Let your child know that this is how real-life works; no work, no pay. Isn’t this interesting? If you have taken the right inventory of her interest, then you will gradually begin to motivate her to work and value things.
2. Be an example
Do as I do is the big secret behind kids’ actions. Even if you don’t tell your child to copy you, he or she tends to imitate your actions regardless of whether it is good or bad. Children learn from what they see. Therefore, if you want your child to take responsibility for her homework or household duties, let her see you do it. Live by example.
No matter how busy you are, let your child see a role model in you and be consistent at it. She will simply follow suit. You can’t sit on the sofa eating snacks and watching your favourite soap opera when there are many house chores yet undone and expect your child to get things done on time.
3. Set expectations
Depending on the age of your child, give age-appropriate chores. Don’t assume she knows how to do the chores or duties; explain in simple words and if necessary, have a go at it in her presence.
The time and energy invested in teaching your child to do things right will yield benefits in the long run, not just in performing chores but in other aspects of life. After you have given instructions on what to expect, set deadlines so your child can get the work done on time.
4. Involve your child in the kitchen
Children can be very demanding about what they want, especially what they feel like eating, not minding how it is gotten. Therefore, it will be a good idea to get them to help out with simple tasks like cutting the plantain while you prepare food or joining you in grocery shopping.
This helps them value whatever they are given and also guides their spending habits. It also helps to reduce their sense of entitlement when they know how much work goes into what they are getting.
It has been proven that involving kids in kitchen-related activities makes them open to eating nearly every food served and less likely to complain about any food served for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It also keeps them engaged rather than having them sit around idle or binging on electronic devices.
5. Make giving and volunteering a habit
Teach your child the attribute of giving to others, both within the family and the society at large. Get your child involved in volunteering activities that give back to communities. Let your child have the opportunity to see how much people can benefit from generous contributions to society.
When your child takes part in volunteering, he or she will learn the attitude of being grateful and content with his or her possessions, and not feel bad for what he or she doesn’t have. When your child learns to give back, he or she also learns to appreciate the art of using free time and resources to support a worthy cause. Generally, this can occupy the child’s mind and keep him or her super busy, without having time for wasteful activities.
6. Encourage outdoor activities
Outdoor activities have a way of lightening up the mood and making us feel relaxed. Psychology studies have it that exposure to nature increases energy and a sense of well-being. Therefore, do some exercises or clear the garden together with your child; or just simply take a walk with your child, as this can help reduce the lazy child syndrome.
7. Reduce doing too much for your child
Doing too much for your child robs him or her of the skills and practice important to develop mastery in life. He or she will get used to people getting things done for him or her, and this feeds the lazy child syndrome, rather than dealing with it.
An example of this is when you complete your child’s homework instead of only providing guidance for it to be done by him or her. Doing more for your children makes them do less for themselves, and this makes them more dependent.
In other words, you must learn to listen to your child when he or she needs help; but let him or her take the lead while you provide assistance; and don’t be in a hurry to fix things up for your child all the time. Know your child’s abilities and nurture him or her to take responsibility. Gradually introduce new activities and watch your child do them. This can be very tough at first but it will highly reduce laziness and pay at the end.
8. Give positive reinforcements
Learning to encourage and praise your child when he or she does well is a great motivation that will make him or her always do more. Appreciate every little effort contributed to getting work completed; this will excite and increase his or her appetite for more responsibility.
Every child has what motivates him or her; discover it, and use it as a great tool to ignite responsibility.