Do you ever find yourself frustrated by the laziness of your children? You seem to be the only one keeping the home afloat from starvation, drowning in mess, and keeping clean clothes on everybody?
It’s time to start figuring out how to “parent” the laziness out of your children, as you won’t always be there to take care of everything (yeah, I’ve seen how they end up in University. Might ace the tests, but growing mold in their bedrooms).
This is the post for you, to learn how to stop your kids from being lazy. Because no parent WANTS to raise lazy kids, we just don’t always know how to get our kids to learn the skills we hope for them to have.
Maybe you’re a parent who hasn’t reached this point yet, but you don’t want your children to end up being lazy and bumming around the house. This is for you as well, here are 10 ways to prevent raising lazy children.
HOW DO I STOP MY CHILD FROM BEING LAZY?
Here’s the good news, laziness is not a born personality trait. It is an outcome of the environment they’ve been living in. Which for you means something needs to change.
I’m not saying you intended to raise lazy children, but sometimes parenting runs off course and we need to adjust our coordinates. It all begins with YOU. If you want to stop your child from being lazy, then you need to make some key changes to your parenting.
You need to establish clear changes, and then follow through.
1 | CONSISTENCY IS KEY
This is honestly the Number 1 Parenting Golden Rule.
No matter what you are doing as a parent, you need to be consistent if you wish for your child to learn. If you want them to learn to take their shoes off at the door, then you need to expect it of them every time. No exceptions.
If you want you child to tackle a few chores when they get up in the morning or when they get home from school, then you need to expect it of them every day. Otherwise it becomes an “option” instead of a expectation. Everything becoming an “option” is what leads to laziness in our kids.
So whatever concepts you decide to utilize, you need to be consistent in order to see change in their behavior over time.
2 | TEACH THEM TO CHIP-IN
This is the opposite of creating a “reward” chart. Teach them that for the family home to function, everyone needs to pitch in.
They need to chip-in and do their part in order to partake in the fun things the family gets to do.
If you have a trip to the pool planned, if they don’t help out around the home then they don’t get to participate. That’s it. No if’s, and’s, or but’s.
This follows with the consistency mentioned before. You need to be consistent if you want them to take you seriously.
A good way to start this is to have a set number of tasks, that is age appropriate, that you expect them to do.
That could be taking the inside trash bag out to the outdoor bin, emptying the clean dishes from dishwasher, and putting their clean laundered clothes away.
Important follow-up to this is for you to show appreciation for their effort. Saying a simple “thank-you” for taking the bins out shows that you noticed their effort and appreciate it.
It is a key component to self-confidence, which is a pillar to preventing laziness.
3 | DON’T DO IT FOR THEM
They need to learn to believe in themselves and their ability to do things, which begins with not doing things for them.
For younger children especially, if you are always doing things for them (like putting their clean clothes away), then you are potentially sending them a message that you think they are not good enough at doing it themselves. This can lead to laziness, because they don’t think they are “good enough” to do anything.
So, stop doing things for them and empower them with independence. If they are thirsty or hungry, let them get their own water and snack. You can set them up for success by having a designated are for approved snacks (so your meal planing doesn’t get thrown off). Let them put away their own clothes, it doesn’t truly matter if they fold clothes different to you.
4 | EXPECT A JOB WELL DONE
To follow up with letting them do it themselves, you also should expect a job well done. If they chip-in and do their tasks to help around the house, make sure they are doing a job worthy of having pride in.
If they wash the dishes after dinner, then you should easily be able to expect them to be clean and grease free. If they are not, do not feel bad for asking them to re-wash that particular dish. You are teaching them to do a good job and have pride in their work. This prevents laziness at home and in future work places.
Just remember to keep a positive attitude when approaching a “redo” and show appreciation for their effort. Saying thank you for their effort, then pointing out that one pan needs a bit more of a wash before it can be put away is completely okay to do. Do not do it for them, then you are not teaching them to do a job well done.
Related Post : Change Perspective to Get Kids to Do Chores
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5 | LET THEM GET BORED
This may seem a bit odd to have on the list, but let them get bored without a screen. Allow them to learn how to fill their time creatively or to realize that now would be a good time to tackle a household task.
Don’t tell them what to do, but instead let them come up with ideas to fill their time themselves. This is an important life skill, to fill our free time with tasks that will be productive as well as improve our physical or mental health. Let them get bored, and see what they do.
Often this is when kids become the most creative. Preventing laziness doesn’t mean doing chores all the time, it also means using free time for self-growth. This could be playing outside, creating some art piece, building a fort, reading a book, or many other mind building activities.
6 | EMPOWER THEM WITH RESPONSIBILITY
Give them responsibility, thus making them feel significant. Laziness can sometimes stem from not feeling important or that anything they having value. To prevent this, empower your child with responsibility.
The easiest, and in my opinion most important, way to do this is to give them the responsibility to cook a meal once a week (or once every two weeks). It can be a super simple meal, but they are completely in charge of the menu, grocery list, and budget for the meal. If you really want, you can have them come shopping with you and they can shop for the ingredients themselves.
Getting a cook book like this (below), can give them the tools to work on their life skills with some supervision.
Giving your child responsibility within limits is a huge life skill builder and a great way to combat lazy behavior. They will see how much effort goes into making a meal and most likely will have more respect for mom/dad when they cook.
Most kids from age 9 -18 can easily achieve making spaghetti with garlic bread and salad. Believe in them, and watch them surprise you!
Never know, they might want to start chip helping you prep dinner more often if they find an interest in cooking.
Empower them with this opportunity and you potentially prevent them from being lazy and always eating out when they begin adulthood. Save their future budgets all the while getting a night off from making dinner.
7 | GET INVOLVED
Volunteering is one of the best things you can do with your child. It is an instant way to teach them how to look at life through a different lens, meanwhile participating in something that is larger than themselves.
A few times a year, go out and volunteer somewhere with your children. This will build on empowering them with responsibility. Lazy kids do not know the value of lending a helping hand and being a part of their community. So get hands on and show them.
Some ideas for getting involved:
- Help at a Relay-for-Life Event
- Local food bank
- Participate in local aged care home
- Volunteer at animal shelter/local zoo
- Help elders in neighborhood with landscaping
8 | GO OUTSIDE
How often have you met a lazy child who goes outside often? Yeah, you probably haven’t.
Get outside with your family. It is good for your overall health, and it is the easiest way to help prevent laziness. Go on a family walk or bike ride after dinner every day. Seriously it’s that simple.
After dinner get the whole family together and walk the dog for 20 minutes every day. This is a great opportunity to have quality family time and discuss things going on.
Get your children outside, it can easily be the simplest way to beat a laziness habit.
9 | RETHINK SCREEN TIME
You are the parent, so you set the limits. Rethinking your limits on screen time can have a large impact on laziness.
Having only set times for screen use within your home can prevent laziness with the modern generation of children. Screens are proven to be addicting, and they take away from quality family time.
If you want your children to have the opportunity to do activities other than screens, then you need to delegate time for them to do other activities.
I’m not saying you have to cut out screens all together. I am saying set times for them to do activities around the house and have set times that they can use their screens.
They are kids and still need our guidance, so setting these limits can really improve your chances of preventing lazy behavior.
A fabulous book by a fun child psychologist, “The Tech Diet for your Child & Teen“, is a great resource for parents on beginning the journey of regulated screen time with your kids.
10 | LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Setting a good example for you child is the best teaching method you can use. The example you set for your children will leave a lifetime impression on them. As a parent you must be sure you are setting the right example for your children.
You can set the right example by:
- Making sure you give your children an important place in our life and they know they are valued.
- Sharing your dreams and goals with them.
- Showing them how you work towards your goals
- Doing our best in whatever we do
Children need support and guidance from us as parents. You can help them become responsible and disciplined young adults by giving them expectations, being consistent, empowering them to believe in their abilities, and guiding them to be disciplined with their time management (especially in this new era of screens everywhere).
You can do all of this by leading by example. 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/daddy do?
Would they say mommy is always busy on her phone or daddy is always watching the game? Or would they say mommy/daddy are always working hard around the home or spending quality time with us?
This is not to say you can never relax as a parent and have some time for yourself to do what you enjoy. It is just good to be aware of how you are time managing as a whole.
Do they see you rush around to clean the house only when someone is coming over? Or do you set time aside for cleaning as you go?
Kids are ALWAYS watching us, so your best bet is to lead by example.
SAVE FOR LATER!