Dealing with a Lazy Child

When it comes to a dealing with a “lazy” child, several factors must be looked upon as well as other conditions that are to be considered, when trying to combat the lack-luster performance of the child. The first thing to consider is that the child is not actually lazy at all. Sure, they do not want to adhere to the instructions of mom and dad, but this is nothing more than a mere cycle that most children go through at some stage in their life. Parents, teachers and anyone else with an authoritative standpoint may be considered the enemy to the child whom just wants to do their own thing, even if that own thing just happens to be nothing at all.

Another factor that must be realized is that the child needs constant stimulation. During the years of child development, there is nothing more important, nor craved than learning. Many times, this desire to learn is subconscious and therefore presented in a more abstract manner, rather than the child being direct and saying “I want to learn.” Instead, a child’s desire to learn is approached through extremes. Either an extreme of compulsive hyper activeness; hence ADD & ADHD, or an extreme of restlessness; hence laziness.

To find a balance or medium between the two, one must consider direction and redirection. To establish a basis for this, several techniques can be used.

What Does The Child Do During Alone Time?

Often, when a child is quiet and off to themselves, they are usually engaged in something of interest. This is a great opportunity for the parent to take a sneak peak in and observe the child, especially if the activity can be potentially dangerous, for unassisted or unguided behaviors can prove detrimental outcomes. Observing the child playing their favorite video game, talking on the phone or simply listening to music can be arsenal for the parent at a later time, as this will be explained later. The key thing here is to observe and take note

What Is The Diet Of The Child?

Just as with adults, children must often be fed a good and balanced diet to maintain proper bodily functions and to help maintain things such as energy. A good multivitamin may be just as good for children as they are for adults. Exercise also comes into play, both in a physical aspect as well as mentally. There is stimulation involved in all of these fields, and with a bit of ingenuity, the right kind of stimulation can produce promising results.

What Is A Good Itinerary?

Again, children require much stimulation, often more than adults. Often, adults get enough stimulation with the requirements of life, such as working and the worry of providing for the family. This is enough to tire out any responsible individual and is enough excitement one may need day in and day out.
Since children are not typically burdened with such responsibilities, they have a higher tolerance for activity and a non-well driven approach will often lead to a restless and “lazy” child.

With these factors set in place, there is now a foundation for which to approach the lazy child. Knowing what to observe and what to consider will make the task easier when deriving a game plan toward producing a more engaged child.

The first step, and perhaps key factor, is to not bombard the child with activity. Instead a sound outlined approach should be carefully mapped out for execution. For instance, one may start out with planning out a day full of events for the child that extends from the time they get up in the morning until bedtime. Even the subtle moments are important, so  carefully planning is crucial. If a child is in the school year, the itinerary can be rather simpler than a summer break, but in any event, a structured outline of the day’s events should be drawn out.

It is also important to find a balance between good structure vs. a bland routine. All children look toward routine, structure and boundaries in their life, but again their call to it will not be in the generic form of asking. Therefore, an itinerary of events for a week long duration should consist of some of the basic repetitive duties, such as waking up, prepping the bed, breakfast and brushing the teeth. While also implementing some more abstract activities that may differ from day to day, such as no homework immediately after school on Fridays, or a dress for success day on a Wednesday. During the time for planning, it is also a good idea to get the input of the child as to their likes and dislikes and what they would suggest as a part of their daily activities. Children often feel good about themselves when they know they are a part of something in which they have impacted, so inclusion of the child’s ideas is imperative during this time.

That time of observation during alone time is another good tool to now use, in the decision making at this point. A reward of the child’s favorite activity, which has been observed during their alone time, can produce excitement and a willingness to complete some mandatory task with the desired activity attached, upon completion. An extra hour on the phone during a school night in exchange for a good job with the laundry is a great way to utilize this leverage against normal routine. Another incentive may be video games on a school night of choice one day out of the month, where the normal routine prohibits this.

The balanced daily routine of the child should be complimented with a well balanced meal and plenty of rest. This is traditional for helping the body recover and prepare itself for the task at hand. Along with a good physical diet is also a good mental one. Positive reinforcement is what comes into play in this field. Often, children feel great about themselves with the mere mention that they have done a good job at something. It is this same positive energy that develops more willingness from the child to further engage in other tasks of choice and asking, rather than a battle of productiveness threatened with bad consequences.

They key factor here is leverage. The more leverage the parent allows themselves, the more the parent can obtain with regard to producing and engaged and non-lazy child, without the backlash of negative reinforcements such as grounding or other forms of punishments.

The key to success when dealing with a potentially lazy child is to remember that the child is simply bored and is craving stimulating and exciting activities. It is up to the parent to observe, assess and derive a course of action against such blunders.