I don't normally post twice in one day, let alone twice in an hour. But my head is spinning, and I could use some advice if anyone has been here and done this.
Here's the deal. Zach is a slow mover and easily distracted. He generally needs to be told to do something three times before he does it - and if it's a multi-step process, I have to keep asking him what he should be doing. Put on his shoes, head up for bed, get his backpack, etc. Far too many times a day I repeat myself and nag. More times than I care to admit, this pattern annoys me into a serious state of crabbiness and overreaction.
I feel guilty about this whole thing - wondering if I just don't have enough patience, am expecting too much out of a six year old, or am not giving him enough time to respond. But really, should I have to wait three or four minutes before he makes a move towards his shoes when we're getting ready to leave? And should it take more than six years for him to figure out where that shoe closet is when he takes his shoes off and throws them on the floor?
My husband suggested setting the timer. He gets a good response out of Zach when he uses the timer, but I'm usually nowhere near the timer when I need something done. And should I have to use a timer? (Can you hear my whiney voice from where you're at when I ask that question?) I'm feeling so defeated.
We started making "I mind the first time" charts when he was about two. He always responded well when we had the charts going, but when there was no sticker to work for, responding the first time lost its appeal. And it's been four years. Shouldn't the charts have worked by now?
So... These days I feel like all I do is nag him and stand on top of him to get things done. Honestly, I feel like I've failed him. Like all of my nagging and all of my "help" (laying out clothes, putting away all of his laundry, picking up his toys, sending him off to play while I do all the cleaning, etc.) has done us all a disservice.
Luke is a serious self-starter who wants to do everything himself and is ultra focused. There is no telling Luke anything twice! And that actually makes it harder for Zach. I get frustrated with all the nagging I do and now things like, "He's three and does all of this. Why don't you?" come flying out of my mouth. Yes... I have said that to my precious child.
I'm nagging, and I'm frustrated. I need a better way to deal with this. Got any ideas?