Many parents think they have a lazy child. The child may show little interest in activities or household chores. In truth, many kids that are labeled as being lazy are in fact not lazy at all.
The main problem with the child is that they’re not lazy. They could be having moments of anxiety, discouragement, and frustration. If you’ve recently thought “My child is lazy and unmotivated,” then we’re here to help.
This guide will go over how to motivate a lazy child and the different ways you can interact with them to reignite their spark.
Determine the Cause of Their Laziness
When kids get assigned a “lazy” label, it implies that their inability to do activities or schoolwork is a flaw in their character. One of the first steps in addressing their laziness is identifying the cause.
What appears like laziness on the outside may be a lack of internal energy. Besides being physically weary, a lazy child could be mentally unmotivated and bored.
One reason they could appear lazy is because of lack of sleep. If a child isn’t getting enough sleep at night that results in them being sleepy during the day. We all know how hard it is as an adult to be motivated when we didn’t sleep well.
Some causes for not sleeping well include:
- Going to bed late
- Watching television before bed
- Playing video games
Electronic devices will emit a blue light that can affect the sleep quality of a child. Limiting screen time before bed can help reduce that effect.
Another reason a child could appear lazy is they’re afraid of failure. Your child may not believe in themselves or feel that they’re incapable. Their negative self-talk needs beneficial support to overcome.
Is Calling Your Child Lazy a Good Idea?
You should never call your child lazy. What you tell your child becomes a voice they hear inside their head. When a parent says a critical statement, it can play in a loop in their mind for years to come.
Additionally, when you call them a name, you’re modeling that name-calling is a good idea. It may just be an adjective in your mind, it’s not to your child. You don’t want your child to start using similar language when they become frustrated with other people.
When you say your child is lazy, you’re missing the reason why they’re not accomplishing their tasks or doing activities. This is a great opportunity for you and your child to work together to solve the reason why.
How to Help a Lazy Child
There are a variety of ways in which you can help a lazy child. Check out some of our favorites below.
Reduce Their Stress
A common demotivator is stress. Look at ways your child may be stressed out and work on how to reduce it. If they’re not visibly stressed, your child could still have internal stressors.
Unfortunately, nagging from parents can cause a child stress. If you believe they’re lazy and have been on them quite a bit about it, it could result in more stress for them. What you view as encouraging could have the opposite effect on your child.
One way to reduce nagging and frustration is to relax. That may be easier said than done, but relaxing and letting go could have a positive effect on your child. Temporary setbacks are a part of life and enable a child to learn the real-life consequences of their actions.
Figure Out What Motivates Them
Everyone is motivated by something. Get your child to be motivated to do something else. Don’t automatically assume that they’re generally unmotivated.
There are two different types of motivation:
- Extrinsic: Doing an activity in order to achieve a certain outcome
- Intrinsic: Doing a certain activity for enjoyment
Figuring out what motivates them to do a certain activity is important to help them in the future. If they don’t have enough intrinsic motivation, then you have to work on extrinsic motivation. You want to inspire your children to do their homework or partake in different activities, not control them.
Find Enjoyable Activities for Them to Do
You should encourage your child to discover and learn what they like to do the most. Do they like participating in sports? Find out if there are any youth basketball leagues in your area.
You want to locate your child’s passion because when you spark that, it’ll increase their overall motivation. You can also encourage them to participate in more outdoor activities. Planning family hiking days will boost their mood, making them feel comfortable and relaxed.
Get Your Children Involved
Whether it’s washing vegetables or planning the meals for the week, get your child involved. Make them feel like part of the family dynamics and that they have a say in what goes on in the house. They’ll learn how to do practical skills during this process.
Be a Role Model
You should be a positive example for your child. They’re always watching you and will mimic your actions, whether or not they’re good or bad. If you want your child to be responsible and do their chores on time, be sure you do the same on your end.
If you spend your weekends sitting on the couch while household chores continue to pile up, why should you expect your child to get things done on time? You want them to model their good behavior after you. You need to be a positive example in their life.
Work With Your Child to Get Them Motivated
Determining why you have an unmotivated or lazy child is the first key step to helping them overcome their feelings. Find activities that they’re interested in to boost their confidence.
For more lifestyle and parenting advice, check out one of our other articles.