Dawdlers have been known to magically speed up once there’s a race on. Instead of asking her to hurry (which isn’t so fun), say, “I wonder if you can put on your jacket before I do,” or “Mommy’s going to get to the breakfast table first.” Your child will probably jump at the chance to participate in a game.If this tactic doesn’t work, give up trying to turn your dawdler into Speedy Gonzalez and instead, work with her personality. If you know she’s going to smell every rose on her way to the park, then — when you can — give yourself an extra 15 minutes to get there, and consider the walk part of the fun. Rather than ask her to change, you can actually schedule her dawdling.
If you’re in a big hurry, apologize for rushing and plead your case. Say, “We have to get to the store before it closes so I need your help this afternoon,” and promptly distract her by telling her a story while you get her stuff together. She’ll likely become engrossed in your tale instead of pitching a battle over getting ready.
Patricia Henderson Shimm, parent educator and author