Is my child too slow?

February 12th, 2013 posted by Family Corner Staff

An Answer to All Your Parenting Questions

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“My oldest daughter is a very bright young lady. Our problem is that she is very slow about doing things. This wasn’t a big deal until she started kindergarten this year. She is such a perfectionist her teacher told us she has to organize all her crayons before she’ll even begin to color. She spends more time daydreaming than doing her work. How can I motivate her to work faster?”

~ Dawn V

Answers from our members:

Sheila Ruth wrote:

First of all, let me say that I am not a medical professional or an expert, so take this comment with a grain of salt. Just something for you to think about/look into. Your comment about “having to organize her crayons before beginning work,” made me think of OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder). I wouldn’t worry if this is an isolated incident, but if you often find that she has to order things in a certain way and gets upset if things are not that way, you might want to ask your pediatrician.

lynee wrote:

i would not worry about it.. my daughter is now in second grade, still a perfectionist, but she is the top of her class, her teacher is always laughing to me about her perfection always needing to perfect.. her teacher loves it.. my daughter is in a higher grade level for many subjects, so let your child be a perfectionist, who knows she may end up like my daughter , not only a perfectionist but an excelled student, if you stunt her perfection you may also stunt the excelled student inside of her….

Noby wrote:

My daughter is the same way, we began motivating her by letting her choose something that she wanted to do as a reward for finishing her work. I’m not saying to bribe her just let her know that when her work is completed she will get different things. But this only works if you don’t keep repeating “Finish your work” tell her one time that if she finishes her work she can choose something fun as a reward. That’s how I got my daughter to come straight in from school and do her work without being told to, she loves being rewarded. The reward doesn’t have to be costly. My daughter helps me cook sometimes as a reward.

J. wrote:

There are many reasons why children are like this. Don’t take for granted that the school system is doing the right thing! It sounds to me that your daughter is very creative and that the teacher has a problem with your daughters personality type. I went through this one year with my daughter. She is very bright and very creative. If working with the teacher and talking to her does not help the situation then do homework, like I did. I went to the library and did a lot of research on my own. Too, networking is the best thing to do…like you are doing now. Do creative things at home with your daughter. There are some wonderful computer games out there that help children out too. Talk to your daughters pediatrician about the situation. Another thing is consistency at home is very important to a child whether it is with disciplining or when they eat or go to bed. I wish I could help you more with this situation, but there are so many variables that have been left out of what you have asked. Once again, I cannot stress enough that the school systems aren’t always correct. Please don’t get angry with your daughter…it may cause her to withdraw even more. My motto has always been…Never push pin someone in a corner…that reaps nothing productive. That person will either shut down and not talk or come out both fists up. It sounds like you are a good parent who worries about their children…I wish there were more like you in today’s world.

leejordan wrote:

My daughter also tends to spend too much time doing simple tasks. One way we are working on this problem is to give her a fun activity (something you know she REALLY wants to do) that can be done only after the other task is completed. You also have to stress that the tasks must be done properly, not rushed through, and reinforce to her that if she does the things that are required more quickly, she will have more time to do the things she wants to do. WebMom wrote:

Is it possible that she is bored? You didn’t mention if she was actually falling behind because of her lack of speed. Some children are so bright that they bore very easily. It could also be a personality trait. My three year old lines up all of his crayons as well and all of his cars too. He even goes to the back door and lines up everyone’s shoes! he’s just that way. 🙂 Have you asked the counselor at the school what they think? It could be so many different things. Anything from a learning disability to boredom to a hearing problem. I would think starting with the school counselor would be a good start, and it wouldn’t hurt to talk to your child’s pediatrician. Perhaps have her take some simple tests for levels that her age range should be doing well at by now? I used to help out in my child’s Kindergarten class and I used to test each child on how high they could count, their sorting skills, how many letters they could recognize, etc. Out of 26 students there were about 3 that were way behind the rest. The other 23 varied in skills. Some were far ahead of the rest of the class, and some were a little behind and the rest average. Talk to the school and your pediatrician, I’m sure they will have some suggestions and answers for you. As far as motivating her to work faster, try watching her to see what tasks or projects she seems very interested in. If she really likes Barbies, then get Barbie books and workbooks for her to practice in. Try using her Barbies as an audience or let her be the teacher and the Barbies are her students. There are lots of ways to help encourage her, as long as it doesn’t turn into pushing. 🙂 Good luck!

sue wrote:

We had problems like this when our son was young. This could be nothing or it could be the sign of a problem like our son had. I suggest an intermediate school referral for checking if there is an underlying problem.

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