5 Ways to Stop Raising Lazy Kids
When I said lazy, you probably pictured kids that are watching TV and playing video games all day or sleeping in until noon during the summer. Yes, these could be examples of being lazy. But lazy could also be undisciplined and unwilling to do the work needed to complete important chores and tasks.
I looked up the word lazy in Webster’s New World Dictionary and here’s the definition, “not eager or willing to work or exert oneself, sluggish.” Does this describe your children when you say it’s time for homework? Are they eager and willing to do their homework (I have one child that loves to do her homework) and do what it takes to learn or would they rather watch TV and play video games? What about when you say clean up your room or put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher? Are your children eager to volunteer? Not usually?
Too often I dismiss these attitudes from my children as “kids being kids.” But, at some age and time, as the parent, I have to take responsibility and start expecting my children to be willing (maybe not excited and eager), but at least willing to do their school work and chores. I don’t want them to continue these habits as adults.
Top 5 Mistakes That Make Your Children Lazy and How to Fix Them
You Don’t Set High Standards or Goals
Have you given your children goals and high standards to reach for? Don’t give your children easy goals, things you know they can achieve. Give them goals and expectations that will require them to work hard and make an effort.
Set the goals high. Maybe they won’t make the goals every time, but they will learn the value of hard work and having a purpose. It’s far worse if you don’t set high goals and standards.
You are not Consistent
My sister and I were talking today about some of the challenges I have with my children not following directions. She shared with me that I really need to be consistent. If I say, pick up your shoes and put them away, I should say it every day and make my children pick up their shoes. No giving in and doing it for them.
Our children will question us and test us until we are tired and just want to give in. Once we are tired, we are more likely to give in. But when we give in to our children’s testing, we reinforce their negative behavior and it will be repeated the next time.
Start being consistent today (I will too).
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You Let Them Quit Without Fully Trying
Children love to try new things. Children also lose interest fast and want to quit. As parents, we need to balance our children’s curiosity to try new activities and a requirement that they complete what they start.
If your child starts basketball, and after 2 practices they want to quit, they have not fully given basketball a try and been to enough practices to learn the sport. Encourage your child to continue long enough to understand the game or activity and then have them give a clear reason why they should be allowed to quit.
When your child wants to quit, tell them they have to meet these rules:
- Complete a season if the sport plays for a season like football, basketball and baseball.
- Require them to commit for at least 6 months. This requirement is to allow time to learn the sport and gain some skills before deciding your child doesn’t like it.
- If they start and your child isn’t physically able to play the sport or activity.
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You Don’t Teach Them to be Disciplined
Being a disciplined person is the opposite of being a lazy person. Do you have set requirements for your children? Maybe they have to get up at a set time every day or they have to make-up their bed before school. These small actions teach our children simple disciplines.
Over time, as we add more small disciplines these changes add to big success. For example, if your child is disciplined and practices their math facts every day in first and second grades, they will have all their math facts memorized and ready to take the next step in math and be successful in advanced math too.
You Don’t Set a Good Example
Are you setting a good example for your children? What would your children say about you if someone asked what does mommy do? Is mommy too busy for me? Or is mom a goal setter and a go-getter and I want to be like her?
How do you know what kind of example you are setting for your children? Listen to what they tell others when they are asked, what does mommy do? What does daddy do? If you don’t know, think about what they would say. Would they say mommy is always busy on her computer or daddy is always playing on his phone or would they say mommy and daddy have big goals and they work hard to reach those goals. They aren’t afraid of big challenges. They always have time for me.
Setting a good example for our children is so important. The example we give our children will leave a lifetime impression on them. As parents, we must be sure we are setting the right example for our children.
We can set the right example by:
- Making sure we are giving our children an important place in our life and they know we love them and value them.
- Sharing our dreams and goals with them.
- Showing them how we are working toward are goals and why they are important to us
- Working hard and never quitting
Children need support and guidance from their parents. We can help them become responsible and disciplined adults by giving them high standards and expectations, being consistent daily, don’t let them quit without trying and learning, teach them to be disciplined and set a great example.
How do you teach your children to be disciplined and responsible?