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Lcimouse
Lcimouse asks:
Q:

I have a lazy 4 year old in my classroom.  How do I get him to do the lessons with the rest of the class?

I teach 3-5 year olds.  I have a 4 year old boy who will not even try to do anything.  He has been taught in the past that if he says he cannot do something it will be done for him.  
I have tried bribes, little extras and sitting with him.  He is not fast by a long shot but he knows the things that we are working on.
He is toilet trained but over the last two weeks has also reverted to soiling himself.  HELP?
In Topics: Preschool, Special needs, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Louiseasl
May 26, 2013
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What the Expert Says:

Hello,

First let me say that I really don't believe in a child of four being "lazy".  I do however, know that children with developmental delays often present themselves as under motivated or not "tuned in". It is hard to teach and help a child when you are not sure "what is going on!" . So maybe this can help - Please consider having your school administrator consulting with an early intervention team to help this child find success and motivation.

Thank you.

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Additional Answers (5)

Jiff
Jiff , Student writes:
you should get him checked for autism or something mental
> 60 days ago

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Lorijgrove
Lorijgrove writes:
First of all, there is no such thing as a lazy four year old. All children that age love to please but each child is different and each motivated in different ways. In addition, each child develops at different times as well. Give him something he enjoys doing, such as drawing, and watch how he responds to your request. If so, incorporate his learning into the drawing assignments and praise, praise, praise. The soiling issue is something I would not be too concerned about. Children are often potty trained and for whatever reasons, begin to have issues with their kidneys again. It may also be that he is involved in something and doesn't want to take the time to go to the bathroom. Whatever the reason, much more observation needs to be made to determine what type of motivators work for this young man.
> 60 days ago

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RebeccaHanson
RebeccaHanson writes:
In my experience this usually signals a change at home.  Inquire if there have been any changes in his home life.  
If this is not the case, then it is time to use a form of "tough love".
In this situation it means he needs to un-learn what he was taught in the past.  I encourage him to try to do the activity and if he doesn't try then he is on his own.  Eventually he will tire of missing out on the fun or not having the same things as the other children to take home to show.  
Of course, discuss this with his parents/guardians first and document your actions taken.
> 60 days ago

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TheresaBernadetteOaks
TheresaBern... writes:
Try using his peers to turn his behavior around by addressing the problem with professional taste to the body of the classroom, his peers.  Generally they will do what we cannot do as adults at that time considering his behavior.  Then, you will be able to establish a new relationship with him utilizing sitting with him etc. etc. letting him know that you love and accept him.  He is not a baby anymore.

Theresa ESE/Educator/FL
> 60 days ago

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Bamadad
Bamadad writes:
Ok, there are a few issues to address regarding the growth and development stage.
Children at this age are not "lazy" per se because they do not have the deductive reasoning skills to be lazy at a conscious level.  Their perceived laziness is a learned behavior that needs to be relearned.  
1.  The first order of business is to be clear with your expectations (but do not place him with the same level of expectations as the other students).  For example:  State a clear expectation "write your name today" or "color this picture" etc.  Say specifically, "(Name) I have a task for you today and this is my expectation.  I would like you to (insert task).  I will help you if you would like.  Do you understand what I am asking?" (Be sure to keep your voice calm and speak at his eye level---do not bend over or look down to him---engage his eye contact).  PRAISE and ENCOURAGE!
Normally I would say to implement consequences for tasks not being completed however in my practice there is a need for further evaluation to see if there are other issues (possibly at home).
2.  Observe for signs of parallel play which is appropriate at this stage of growth and development.
3.  Establish a baseline of behavior. For example, the regressive nature can be due to internalized stress at home or simply too busy to go to the bathroom.
4.  Engage in conversation with the family.  What methods of encouragement are used at home?  Who are the primary caregivers?

I encourage you to stay patient.  Depending on the circumstances, teachers are often the only safe outlet.  Establish a relationship of trust with him and you will see a difference.
> 60 days ago

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