Is There Any Such Thing As Laziness?

July 2nd, 2009

slugI’m in the midst of a writing program and am revisiting a piece about my own struggle with ADHD and this popped into my¬† head–there are all kinds of reasons kids don’t turn in their work on time, or at all, in some cases. They are all usually labeled “lazy” by teachers. As I look at my own story, I remembered being called lazy in second grade when I was really trying. So I know how painful that label can be.

I never, or almost never, turned work in late, though. By the time I got to sixth grade, I was in full stress mode, and it may well have happened sooner than that. There was pressure and expectations at home and for some reason, maybe internalizing a notion of success I interpreted as theirs, I was my own (best? worst?) slave driver and I couldn’t stand to get work in late. Because it was never easy for me either, I guess I don’t understand why kids don’t do their work on time. I hated homework, too, but I did it anyway.

Still, I’m left wondering as I explore my own difficulties, and I have more sympathy.

Why do kids avoid assignments?

  • seems too difficult or overwhelming and they cannot get started
  • the work is boring and they are not used to making themselves face boredom
  • they are distracted by things they have to do or think they have to do–they work, babysit siblings, take care of responsibilities at home
  • they don’t think it is important
  • they hope if they ignore it, it will go away
  • when they think about school work it makes them stressed out
  • perfectionism–cannot start because they are afraid it won’t be perfect
  • lose themselves in other enticing activities–tv, internet, texting, gaming
  • are overscheduled and are tired when it’s time to do work
  • are underscheduled and have no structured time to do school work
  • lazy?

What does it mean to be lazy? To avoid difficult tasks or those that require energy? To avoid tasks that are not fun? To lie around and do nothing?

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