Help with My Slooooooow Girl....

Updated on August 12, 2007
C.P. asks from Euless, TX
7 answers

My little girl will be 9 years old on 8/18, and starting 4th grade on Monday the 13th. We've been forwarned that there will be LOTS of homework this year, and she will have to be fast with her seatwork. We've had struggles with her since pre-K getting her to keep up the pace, and it's hard since she's younger than the rest of the kids in her class. She's in a small private school, so at least she gets more one-on-one attention, but we need help getting her to move faster with her seatwork and homework. She is the Queen of the Dawdlers! She's very smart, and ahead of the game in most subjects (except math) but she just seems to march to a different (much slower) drummer and it gets very frustrating for her. We've tested her for ADD, and she definitely does not have that. The clinician said her biggest problem is being basically an only child and never having to move fast to get her way or get anything done. What can you mommas suggest to help us help her move faster, and begin to take on more responsibility for her school work as well as her hygiene, etc.
PS--She's very smart and can do the work, just loves to take her own sweet time. She tests very high on all subjects, and high average on math. She had her tonsils/adenoids out when she was 3, but she does have some seasonal allergies. BTW--she's really fast when it comes to playing PS2 with her Daddy...LOL

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answers from Dallas on

Hi Candace!

It sounds like she may be just naturally slow or maybe very immature for her age. Have you considered holding her back a grade for maturity reasons?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I could have written this about my step-daughter. When it comes to schoolwork, hygiene, ect. there is one speed and it is sslllllooooooooooowwwwwwww. We have found the one thing that helps is making her sit at the kitchen table and doing her work. She cannot do anything until it is done. No TV, playing, phone, ect. That seems to speed things up a bit when there is no distraction what-so-ever. If things were even slower than normal, maybe she won't get to do something fun that she wanted. If it takes to long to get ready for bed, then there is no time for TV at all (something she really likes). My step-daughters mother thought she was ADD as well. I know that couldn't be farther from the truth. As long as she was doing something she WANTED to be doing, there was no problem. It was the things that she didn't enjoy that turned into a battle. Now, we don't battle. She is old enough to understand if she sits at the kitchen table for 2 hours doing 30 minutes worth of homework, then that is what she gets to spend her time doing. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I wouldn't say your daughter is immature at all. She just has a different personality and needs to be motivated in a different way. I have two boys, one who is on top of everything and the other who moves slower. We try to devote more attention to the slower one and spend more time with him after school to finish his homework.

I think once you get the child on a certain schedule it becomes easier to them and they develop as well.

This world moves so fast anyway I don't see anything wrong with slowing down sometimes - it's just knowing when to slow down.

Good luck. She will come along....


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My daughter will be 9 on 9/24 and she is going into 4th grade. I can tell a HUGE difference in her girlfriends that have birthdays from May into the summer. I would ask the teachers about holding her back?? Or maybe they have already suggested it? We were going through this a little last year with our daughter. Had her tested for ADD, and it ended up being her tonsils were so enlarged she would snore at night and not get good sleep. And we also took her to the alergist. So maybe that will help you?? She was also diagnosed with she is getting the help she needs to be more productive. Our elementary tested her for that and they have a class that helps them. Good Luck, it is very frustrating!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I am a substitute teacher and I have a 12 yr old (Christmas birthday) going to 7th grade.

I agree with another poster who mentioned that you can tell the difference with birthdays.

Your daughter is at an age where if you hold her back it is going to be a stigma for her. If she is testing well and just being slow about getting things done, use the time limits with rewards/consequences. I know children in our school that were held back from K and seemed to adjust well but the ones held back in 1st grade and up seemed to lose self image and confidence. School kids can be so cruel.

When we have someone that moves slowly, we give a time limit then a consequence or reward. The consequence can as simple as finishing the work at recess or after school if needed. Rewards are small trinket items from a "treasure box" that they get to visit if they have completed tasks on time for the day.

Best wishes to you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Hi Candace,
This is one of the challenges of school- not all kids fit into the "box". Doesn't mean there is a thing wrong with them- just that they do things differently. This is one of the main reasons many people choose to homeschool.

Maybe having a BIG clock visable or a timer would help her learn more about time? Natural consequences- if the work isn't done it still gets turned in. I would not give her much attention- kids crave attention, good or bad. Just say "OK honey, you have 15 minutes to do these 5 problems" then check her work and offer help at that point. Don't keep saying "come on honey...."

Just some random thoughts--- plus remembering to just love her for the special person she is!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Maybe look into "Parenting with love and logic" by Jim Fay and Foster Cline. At age 9, she should be taking responsibility for her own work and her own "stuff" like hygeine, etc. The idea of love & logic is that there are natural consequences to your child's actions. Let her come home from school and rest or blow off steam, then set a designated homework time and space. Maybe that's a 2 hr block before dinner, or an hour before and an hour after, or whatever works best for your family. Let her know what the time and space is for, and let her know that you trust her to do what she needs to do to make acceptable grades (whatever your family deems acceptable). If you provide the time, space and tools for her to complete her work, it's her responsibility to complete it. If she asks for help, you should certainly help her, but mainly in a way that you're teaching her to help herself. If she needs to know what a word means, send her to a dictionary rather than tell her the definition, etc.

But what about her grades? Well, those are also her responsibility, and it's better that she learn that now, rather than in high school where her GPA will be tied to college admission, etc. If, left to herself with her designated homework time and space, she brings home poor grades, that will have it's own consequences -- whatever you deem appropriate, and whatever will get her attention (maybe no TV until the grades come up, etc).

You'll have to read the book for details on putting love and logic into practice. Also, there are love and logic instructors that can help you along the way ( There may even be a class near you. We know several people who use this style to deal with their kids (specifically our friends who are teachers), and it's really effective. In fact, my good friend who is a 4th grade teacher is one who recommended it to me!

Good luck

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