Usually, when a child is moving more slowly than we’d like, it’s because they know they can get away with it,

their lack of tools, or Yuck. 

Here are the questions to ask yourself when your child is always moving more slowly than you’d like:


1. Are their biological needs accounts low?
Are they hungry, tired, sick, or under-stimulated?


If so… that need must be addressed for behavior to change.


2. Do they know that you mean what you say?
Have you been consistent in the past?
Or do they know they can just move slowly and eventually you’ll give up on trying to get them to do something?


If you haven’t been consistent… you’ll have to be firm and let them travel the Yuck curve. 


3. Do they have the tools to do what they’re supposed to do?
Is this situation requiring them to use the tools that most kids lack:
…Handling monotony (staying focused)
Handling transitions
Problem solving
Controlling impulses
​Regulate emotions (including handling your stress about being late)?


If so… make a suggestion for this tool. If they’re not too deep in Yuck, this is all it will take.


4. Are they in Yuck? 
Do they feel:
Out of control


If so… they’re too deep in Yuck to behave positively. Try to meet that need and/or let them travel the Yuck curve.



An Example

Scenario: Cassi’s dad is trying to get his kids out of the house in the morning. As many times as he reminds her to hurry up, Cassi seems to be going at the pace of a snail. Cassi’s dad is stressed about how late it’s getting. 

How Cassi’s dad might answer these questions

1. Are her biological needs accounts low?
Yes, she may be tired.

2. Does Cassi know that I mean what I say?
I’m not sure. I remind her over and over to keep moving, but I don’t really do anything if she doesn’t keep moving except remind her again.

3. Does Cassi have the tools to do what he’s supposed to do?
Probably not. Cassi has always had a hard time doing boring things and staying on task.
She also tends to slow down more when I’m rushing and asking her to hurry up.

4. Is Cassi in Yuck?
Yes. I think she senses my stress and that makes things worse.



Putting it all together:

Cassi’s dad identifies the solution

What’s causing Cassi’s negative behavior:
Cassi has a hard time getting through the morning routine because it’s monotonous, so she’s getting distracted by everything around her. My stress and urging only put her deeper in to Yuck. And to make matters worse, she’s tired.

What to do to get Cassi to move faster:
First of all, Cassi needs help staying on track. I will talk to her about other ways (besides my reminders) that will keep her on track. I know that using Alexa as a reminder has helped her in the past. She may also need to make the morning routine a little more engaging. I also need to work on not getting so upset with her in the morning. It’s not that I don’t have a right to be upset, but getting upset only makes things worse. I may also need to consider trying to wake her up a few minutes earlier so she doesn’t feel as rushed.

What it might look like: The words 

Dad: Hey Cassi, I see that you’re still getting your clothes on. We need to get out of here, so let’s see how we can speed this up a little. Let’s put on some music… I challenge you to get all of your clothes on before the song is over. Bonus points if you can all of your clothes before the last chorus!



You will not be able to effectively ask (and answer) these questions when you’re in Yuck!