Impacts of Lagging Skills

Kids and teens whose cognitive skills are lagging tend to feel overwhelmed and frustrated; reacting to anything that doesn’t go their way with “meltdowns,” arguments, clinging or even withdrawal. The lack of learned skills feels frustrating and overwhelming so they may seem chronically irritable or anxious. They may ignore or defy their parents and other adults, be too aggressive with other kids and difficult to redirect. They may have high energy, struggle with clothing and texture or refuse to eat most foods. Others may cry, cling and withdraw. All these things can be challenging and highly frustrating for parents as well as for the child or teen. Kids typically don’t “outgrow” these behaviors as they are learned skills.

Typical behaviors that can be a sign of lagging skills include:

  • Argues or procrastinates when asked to stop playing change activities (do homework, come to dinner, turn off the tv or videogame to go to sports practice or bed)
  • Difficulty getting up in the morning and to school on time
  • Has difficulty sleeping alone or going to school
  • Argues, procrastinates or “forgets” to start, complete or turn in homework
  • Plays with others but regularly complains that nobody likes him or her when play moves activities that s/he didn’t suggest or want to do
  • Has difficulty changing activities at school (moving from reading to math)
  • Has difficulty getting along with others, particularly during specific activities like group reading, circle time or in the car
  • Loses track of time easily
  • Lacks attention/focus and struggles to get things done; often becomes bored or distracted
  • Is upset by unpredictability/change in plans and schedule changes
  • Can’t see/struggles to understand how his or her behavior affects others
  • Feels that others are always to blame (“Nobody likes me,” “I’m stupid,” “It’s not fair,” “You always blame me.”)

About Jeannette

Jeannette Harroun is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist/Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor in Lafayette, CA specializing in child, teen, parent and family support.
Read more…

Contact Details

3468 Mt. Diablo Blvd, #B301 (Mail: #B201)

Lafayette, CA 94549



Joyful Parenting – 5 Ways to Encourage Positive Behavior