ynonne asks:

My daughter just turned eight. She is very clumsy, untidy and irresponsible. Is this related to her stage of development?

In Topics: My child's growth and development, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Wayne Yankus
Jan 26, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

Not likely.  How is she in school? out of the house? with friends? programs?  Speak with your pediatrician and have a physical examination to determine if the clumsiness is at all related to a condition.  However, eight year old boys and girls often need direction to learn to "tidy up" their space.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics

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Additional Answers (1)

Karenmom writes:
Hi ynonne,

Good question and I understand your concern.  Remember each child develops differently and at different stages.  You may want to speak with the pediatrician regarding the clumsiness,  my daughter, 8 now, but 5 at the time had some clumsiness that turned out to be related to inner ear infections and sinus infections.  She eventually had to have surgery to have her adenoids removed and ear tube placement.  The clumsiness stopped.  Later, I saw my son begin to be clumsy and after an eye exam found out that he needed glasses, once again clumsiness stopped.  So that could be related to a condition that needs attention.

As far as untidy, some is probably developmental and has nothing to do with it being her or your fault, so don't blame her or yourself.  Guide her to clean up after herself, helping her as necessary and overtime (probably with your reminding her) or setting chores, she will become more responsible.  

I've included a link to some helpful tips on many issues including building self esteem at love our children usa and a link to printable, age appropriate chore charts, don't forget to reward your child for her efforts and achievements (big or small) to reinforce the responsible behavior.  I've found with my 8 year old that by giving her simple chores to do around the house, it makes her feel "grown-up" and promotes her being more responsible.  The more "grown-up" I treat her, the more "grown-up" she acts, but remember - they are still just 8, a little patience will go a long way.  Best wishes to you both!

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