July 02, 2015

Q: I have a very social and friendly 9 year old...unfortunately her socializing is now affecting her schoolwork. I've tried talking to her but this seems to be a continuing problem. If she isn't talking she rushes through her work so she can get to talking/socializing. Help!

A: This is a "good news/bad news" situation. A sociable attitude is a great attribute that boosts your daughter's chances of good relationships, academic, and work success for her future. But of course, she's gotta finish her work to get those benefits! Explain that you love her friends too, and make sure she has enough time with them outside of school. Then, make a reward chart for excellent work completed on time in the classroom -- ask her teacher for help in praising her "on task" behavior, and discouraging her socializing when it's not yet time to gab.

Answered by Dr. Heather Wittenberg