21 answers

6 Year Old That Can't Seem to Move Fast in the Morning!

My 6 year old daughter (who is in Kindergarten) does not know the meaning of the words "please move quickly" -- especially in the morning when we are rushing to get ready for school. I literally have to carry out of the bedroom, dress her and constantly remind her to eat her breakfast. Then I'm constantly asking her to go brush her teeth and get her shoes on. There is no TV on during our morning routine until all 3 of my children are ready to walk out the door for school and obviously only if we have time left. All 3 get up 1 hour before we have to leave so I know we have enough time, but my daughter just does not move except for at a snails pace. This makes me go crazy when I'm trying to get out the door on time. We've never once been late for school, but I would love for the mornings to be more peaceful and easy. Any suggestions for getting her to move a little faster so that we aren't screaming at each other anymore???

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I also had sluggish kids in the morning(actually they still are as teens, but they take responsibility for themselves now). When they were younger they were slow and fought me about changing their clothes. SO, much to my mother's and mother-in-law's horror, I dispensed with pajamas. I would dress them in the clothes they would wear the next day before bed, and that step was done when they woke the next morning. Yes, they were a little more wrinkled, but most of their clothes unwrinkled quickly, and they didn't seem to care what they slept in, as long as they were comfortable. D. K

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We have the same problem, but we now have a points system. They all earn points if they get ready for school on time WITHOUT any nagging. It's working! Mine have different things they're working to earn with their points (we value them at a quarter each). Last night, they decided to spend 4 of their points for $1 ice cream night at Baskin Robbins.


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HA! I'm glad to hear my daughter isn't the only one that acts that way in the morning!

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I have a squirt bottle for just this kind of thing! It works wonders and keeps me from screaming at them! Don't judge me! :)

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Hi D.,

I had this problem briefly with my daughter. I told her that since she was so tired in the morning that she would have to go to bed earlier until she was able to get up and ready quickly in the morning. Her bedtime was 7:30 and she didn't have to get up until 6:30 so she already had 11 hours to sleep. I just put her to bed at 7 instead and told her that how smoothly mornings went would determine her bedtime that night. I laid out in detail exactly what I expected from her (get up when I tell you, don't make me come in there 5 times to make sure you are up, get your own clothes on, brush your teeth without being asked and eat your breakfast quickly, etc). It worked like a charm and now she gets up with a good attitude every day EVEN when she really is tired.

I think it took some of the power-struggle out of it when I told her she had to go to bed early because she was so tired in the morning rather than because she was being punished for her behavior. It's a very logical and natural consequence. You are too tired and therefore you must need more sleep. Let's make sure you get extra sleep tonight. She was an only child at the time but this would have really worked if she had siblings who were allowed to stay up later because they were less tired in the morning (especially if they were younger!).

I hope this was helpful for you. It worked extremely well for me!

Best Wishes,


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I, too have a 6 year old (boy) that we refer to as a snail in the morning. We bought him a Sponge Bob alarm clock that he can turn on and off himself (although there are some days when he just turns it off and goes back to sleep just like I do). We moved his bedtime up and wake him up much earlier now and we also use cartoons as an incentive for moving faster. We have seen much improvement. Good luck.

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I have had this same problem with some of my children. She could be going through a growing spurt so she's extra tired. Try putting her to sleep an hour earlier for the next week and see if she has more energy in the morning. She just may be needing a little more shut eye at this time. If that doesn't help then you'll have to go to the next drastic step. It will probably be more difficult for you than her but she will get the message if you can follow through. Are you ready for this? Let her go to school in the morning as ready as she gets herself with out you screaming or forcing her to do it. If she doesn't get a full breakfast that's fine, have a sandwich bag of cearal or piece of toast for her to eat in the car. She may have to go with her hair not fixed or her teeth not brushed or maybe even in her pj's (bring her clothes in a bag so she can change in the car) but she will see that it's her responsibility to get up and get ready in the morning and that you aren't going to do it for her or get all upset because she's not obeying. You have to keep a calm voice and attitude and let her see that it's not affecting you, her actions are affecting her. Talk to her teacher before you deciede to take this step so she will know what's up if she shows up to school half ready so she can reinforce your plan of helping her become more responsible. Good luck and be patient it may take some time , but this whole process of helping our kids mature takes persistance and endurance. :) with love

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First, get a cardboard clock and post it near a central clock. The old kind with hands and numbers, not digital. Set the cardboard clock for the time the car will be leaving. Show this to your daughter and explain that when the two clocks look the same it is time to go. Remind her how many minute until the car leaves. (45, 30, 15, 10, 5) At the 5 minute reminder, if she is still not in her clothes, put them in a grocery sack and set them by the front door.
When it is time to leave pick up the sack of clothes, put them in the car near where she sits go back and get your daughter and put her in the car. Then continue on with your day as usual. She will either get dressed in the car or as soon as she gets to school. If you really feel she needs to eat breakfast and she hasn't gotten around to it throw a granola bar in the bag with her clothes.
I have already tried this with my two year old. Last week he decided to get dressed by the time we were in the third isle of Costco. This week he was desperatly trying to get dressed as I came back in the house to let the dog in. (he had his sweatshirt on upside down). This morning he got dresses as soon as he woke up. He has only been up for 45 minutes and is dressed and fed.

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Hi D.
My name is J.. I'm a 60 year old with my great nephew, I tell him that the things we have planned are not going to happen because you don,t move fast enough and we won,t have time to do them. Try telling her she is too pretty to be so slow. If she wants to stay pretty she has to brush her teeth(no one likes yellow teeth). Pretty eat their breakfast. Don't be too critical. Use the pretty girl approach. Let her know God loves her and He is not pleased.

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My niece had the same problem, she is 6 as well. Have you tried a reward system like they do in her class. Something you hang on the wall and after each task is done they get a happy face sticker or something. then at the end of the week, you can either do an activity or they did snack shack on fridays. It worked perfect, she is always aware of her behavior and they have great mornings.

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