“My child is lazy.” What can I do to help you?

Parents often say “my child is lazy” to describe an attitude that may be new or persistent: he is behind on schoolwork, has no interest in sports, or is not enthusiastic about being with his friends.

But could it be more than just a temporary state of laziness or laziness? What psychology says, and how parents can help.

All children lose motivation at some point. And it is something normal, perhaps some frustration due to a low grade, some physical discomfort that is not of care, perhaps because they ate too much ice cream, or something even simpler: they are bored.

But this feeling is usually temporary, and quickly the child will be able to refocus on something he likes, and pay attention at school.

However, when this attitude persists, and parents begin to see that those grades are still low, or that the child seems to have no energy, preferring to be on the couch watching television to do something that usually excites him, it can be a sign that something else is going on.

And the first thing is to recognize it.

Parents, who are super busy, overwhelmed by work, obligations inside and outside the house, often make a common mistake: pigeonhole the child. “My son is lazy, or lazy, or he is not interested in studying.” That label may help the parent sweep the problem under the rug for a while, but it can take a heavy toll on the child’s self-esteem and development as a person.

Recognizing that something is happening to the child is important in order to, first, seek help, be proactive, and, second, modify one’s own reactions to a child who shows “very low energy”.

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What can mom and dad do?

Parents know their children well. If they consider that this situation of reluctance has already crossed the line of what is normal, the first action is to talk to the pediatrician, who will determine what to do to rule out that the child does not have a health condition that causes feeling tired, without energy.

The doctor’s examination may also investigate the mental health of the minor, and, if necessary, refer him to a specialist.

Communicating with the school is also critical. Apart from the parents, the teachers are the ones who are close to the child most of the day. They can help and observe things that even parents may not see. For example, a situation of bullying at school, which is possibly reflected in symptoms that the child presents at home.

In addition, actions at home are constructive and will help the child to get ahead. An essential one: to achieve a mentally healthy and friendly family environment, if family life is hostile and not very tolerant, it may happen that the child loses energy. So, parents, get to work:

Talk to the child. Although sometimes it seems that children close in on themselves and are not even interested in talking, in reality that silence can reveal the opposite message: I want to talk but you have to make the first move. Approaching to chat without complaints or reproaches can help a lot to begin to figure out what is happening.

Remember that not all children are the same. Societies often set standards, and children feel that pressure from an early age: they must be successful in school, score goals if they play football, show some talent. But something that is obvious is often not always taken into account, people are not cut from the same mold. Not all children are the same. For this reason, it is important for the father to be able to distinguish if his son shows “laziness”, or simply has a different rhythm to carry out his daily activities.

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Guide you to find solutions. If the child shows sadness or anxiety in the face of this kind of lethargy in which he seems to find himself, the parent can help him by showing, by example, how to look for alternatives, solutions to problems that the child may encounter. Sometimes that “laziness” is frustration for something that the child feels did not go well, that he feels he has failed.

Help him build his self-esteem. Children are building their personality, their strengths and weaknesses, it is very important to generate enthusiasm and courage. Saying “you can do it, you’re going to go far” is a good example. However, if the phrase that comes out of the parents’ mouths in response to a low grade is “you’re a brute!”, the damage can be deep and last. .

Empower him with small responsibilities. From cleaning your room to setting the table, having a calendar of household chores you can help out with, considering it for household decisions like dinner on the weekends, it can boost your energy, make you feel like you’re part of it, and have your opinion heard. take into account. Laziness can sometimes come from not feeling important or from feeling that nothing has value.

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Teach him that he does things for himself. Another common reaction is for the parent to ask the child to do something for him. He tells him to do his homework “for me”, to be more active so that “Mom will be happy”. It is not like this. The child can do favors, but his academic success, his active social life or his favorite hobby must be done for himself, because that will make him a more fulfilled person. In a few years the child will be an adult responsible for his own life, and it is important that this learning begins early.

Organize outdoor activities. It is more difficult to find a sofa or a bed to lie on in the middle of a park. Outdoor walks, games and gatherings can help break the vicious cycle of laziness and encourage the child to run and breathe fresh air.

Limit the use of electronic devices. Studies have shown that the more hours in front of the different screens, the more alienation and more reluctance. Therefore, it is the prerogative of parents to manage the time that their children are watching TV or watching shows on their phones. Again, each case is different, and parents will allow more or less hours depending on how the child acts in front of the electronic device.

Getting the child out of this state of laziness can take time and several interventions, so it is key to take a deep breath and exercise patience. The result will be an emotionally happier child and parents.

Sources: APA, American Pediatric Association, Nemours Foundation.

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