Speaking of conniptions...

I need some advice.

C is perfectly capable of dressing himself, getting his coat on, getting his shoes on, putting toys away, etc. However, he is getting slower...and slower...and slower.

Two mornings ago it took him no less than 35 minutes to go potty, get dressed, and get his shoes and coat on. This does not include time spent eating breakfast or even any tantrum time - that's just how long it took. I was with him the whole time, encouraging/reminding him and helping him along. Admittedly, this did include him changing his clothes once because he decided he wanted to wear a shirt similar to Y's shirt (of course he decided this after he got dressed).

You ask the child to put on his coat...and he gets it off the hook. Then he starts doing something else. Then you ask him again to put on his coat, and he puts the hood on his head (the first step to getting his coat on). Then he does something else. Or he runs around, and it falls off. Then you ask him again...you get the picture. Yesterday at preschool when I picked him up I asked him to get his coat on, and he just kept talking and he just couldn't bring himself to do it. I asked him several times and he was so distracted that we just had to leave the room and get his coat on in the hallway. I even held it in attempt to help him. Even then it was a struggle because somebody walked by and of course he had to talk to them! And of course he can't get his coat on while he is talking.

Anyway, I am getting uber frustrated. If it was just one thing or even once a day it would be something. But we are always waiting on him...waiting on him to get his shoes on, waiting on him to get his clothes on, waiting on him to walk instead of dilly dallying around, waiting him to put away his toys. The other day I had to use the whole "You have 5 minutes to put away your toys" and then removed all of the toys that did not get picked up in five minutes. About 3 toys got put away in that time - about 75% of their toys are in time out for a few days. The child moves at the pace of a glacier when you ask him to do something (when you ask him NOT to do something, however, just watch how fast and crazy he can be!). I don't feel we have a rushed lifestyle but occasionally we DO need to get out the door in a decent amount of time. Yesterday we almost left the house with him not having his coat on because it was taking him so long. And of course that resulted in a meltdown and tantrum, which is always a pleasant thing to deal with when you have to get somewhere.

So let me have it - do I just need to be more patient? Allow him even MORE time? Initiate some sort of Love and Logic sequence to get his ball rolling...like "We are leaving in 5 minutes" and then just carry him out when the 5 minutes is up? I have said to him more than once "Do not talk again until you have ____ done." To which he responds "But I'm just telling you ______________." To me, that's talking back. I know other kids in his daycare do it because I have heard them, and I wonder if he's picking up that habit there. Aaaaaaggghhhhh!


  1. I had a chore chart. I would put all of the things I needed my 4 year old to do on it. I'd set the timer and she could get a sticker (on printed chart) or a checkmark (on dry-erase chart) when completed. It might help to have pictures of each item (socks, shoes, jacket, toothbrush).

    Once the timer went off, freewill was over and I got to choose what to wear, put shoes on, etc.

    Then there was the time where the jacket didn't get put on fast enough. I just brought it with us in the car. Once we got to our destination, she realized she really needed a coat (natural concequences) and was ok with putting it on at that point.

    We've also said you have to put all of your toys away before dinner. That way they're not tired or distracted.

    We also play the "how fast can you..." game. How fast can you put away all of your toys? I bet you can't put them all away before I set the table for dinner. How fast can you get dressed? I bet I can get dressed faster than you can!


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