Your child is not lazy, their Shady is!
If they have lazy behaviours then they are in the habit of listening to Shady and believing what Shady is telling them in their head. Here’s one child’s Shady whining about homework:
‘I can’t do it. It will take too long. I don’t get it. I can’t be bothered. Why should I? You can’t make me. I don’t care what happens to me, I’m not doing it. How come so and so doesn’t have to do homework. I don’t want to. I don’t care. I’m not doing it!’ and on and on and on!
You know exactly what your child’s Shady is telling them in their head because they say most of it out loud!
So how do you motivate a child with lazy behaviours?
First – check that their body is okay. If they are tired, hungry, thirsty or sick you won’t have much luck, so help them sort their body out and then try again later – even if you have to wait a day! Honestly, it’s not worth negotiating with a tired, worn out child! Just tell them you love them, that you will help them tomorrow and put your gorgeous worn out child to bed with a lovely bedtime story and a big cuddle!
Second – if your child’s body is okay then check that you are on the high road, which means check that you have the patience to be loving. If you don’t because you are hungry, tired, worn out, or upset about your day, then leave it until you feel better. Tell your child you are feeling low and that you will help them when you feel better.
Third – Assuming the first and second things are in order, namely your child’s body is okay and you are feeling patient and loving then now you can help! Try this…
‘I love you and I believe in you! I know you can do anything you decide to do. Shady obviously doesn’t want to do this, so let’s ask him or her why and listen to the answer without interrupting because we love Shady and are happy to listen.’
At this point encourage your child to say everything Shady is saying to them in their head out loud so you can both hear it. When your child starts repeating themselves say, ‘Yes, we got that one, ask Shady if there is anything else.’ When your child is done say, ‘Great, thanks Shady, we love you and we heard everything now we are going to check with Sparky to see what to do about it.’
Then get your child to ask Sparky, ‘What now?’
Their Sparky will give them an answer that is best for them, best for you and best for others! Yes, seriously! If they don’t come up with the best solution because they are enjoying the attention of being Shady, say, ‘I think that’s still Shady you are listening to, do you want to ask Sparky again or will I ask mine?’ If they don’t ask theirs, ask yours!
So now all you and your child have to do is exactly what Sparky suggested which will probably be, ‘Do it!’ or ‘Ask for help’ or ‘Ask for company while you do it.’ Or something loving that will solve the problem!
That’s it, lazy behaviour solved! Seriously! If it happens again tomorrow (because it is a habit) say to your child, ‘We listened to Shady whine about that yesterday didn’t we? We already know it isn’t helping so tell Shady, ‘I love you Shady, but that’s not helping’ and then let’s just do what Sparky suggested yesterday.
If you or your child get stuck, ask Sparky, ‘What now?’ and follow Sparky’s advice! The best parenting advice always comes from your own Sparky!
I’m just helping you get in the habit!