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Jennifer, School Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 397
Experience:  Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
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My five year old son struggles to get ready for school in the

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My five year old son struggles to get ready for school in the morning. He is very easily distracted and doesn't like being told what to do. He and I together made a checklist of what he needs to do. I drew clocks so he could check whether he was on track. We've told him if there is any time spare he can play on the computer. We've also told him if doesn't get ready on time he doesn't get to watch TV in the afternoon. I don't want to have to do everything for him and I don't like having to nag him ... we have a similar situation in the evening getting ready for bed.
Hello and thanks for using!

I love what you're doing so far. I have a few suggestions that may help you to build on the great things you have going already. One of my favorite parenting theories is Love and Logic. Here is an example of how they recommend using natural consequences for misbehavior. Here is sample of some of the techniques utilized in this theory:

this is obviously an article written around Mother's Day, but it gives a brief overview of a few of the methods employed by this theory. Pay attention to Tips 2 and 3 -- Both may be helpful in your situation. Your 5-year old is too young to clean a bathroom, but he could certainly assist by picking up towels (even if you've placed them on the floor for that purpose) and putting them in the laundry basket for you. The idea is assigning logical consequences and getting them involved in the problem solving process. A great book by the creators of this theory is Love and Logic: The Early Years. I've used it with many families I work with as well as my own daughter.

Another option to consider is allowing him to endure the natural consequences for his behavior. On a day this works for you, allow him to drag his feet. There are natural consequences to being late for school... Walking in late means he'll be assigned a "tardy" and will have to first check-in at the office. Speak to the teacher about this plan beforehand, so she knows your son may be late. Ask him/her to keep him in at recess for however many minutes he misses at the start of school so that he can make up what he's missed. He'll have to walk into class late (another natural consequence when his peers are already engaged in an activity) and may be disoriented for a few minutes while he figures out what everyone is doing and what he's supposed to do. This sounds a bit harsh, but the reality is he may not understand yet why it's so important to be to school on time. You save him from the natural consequence by making it your problem instead of his.

The combination of these two approaches should help significantly. I wish you the best of luck!
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