Chalkboard with words and tick box - Now or Later

Some children just get on with it.  Parents, teachers or their peers ask them to do something and they just do it. There are no moans and groans about the task, no procrastination and there is no need to help your child to just get on with things. How amazing would that be if all children were like that?!

Amazing as it would be, not all children are like that. There are many adults who procrastinate too. Many children – dare I say the majority of children, will put off tasks they don’t want to do. They will find an excuse or find something else to do and it will tend to be something that they enjoy.

For example, homework. If you have a child who is not keen on doing it they will delay getting started by looking for something to eat, needing to go to the toilet, deciding that they just have to record something on the TV,  etc.  They won’t start till you tell them that it really needs to be done and once it is completed they can go and do something they want to do.

Top Tips to Stop Children Procrastinating

  1. Talk to them about your work and having to meet deadlines. Explain the rewards this can bring in terms of qualifications, doing deals and other benefits.
  2. Set a good example by showing our children that we don’t put off tasks we don’t like, are difficult or that take up too much of our time. Don’t model procrastination for them!
  3. If they are finding it hard to get started with a task, help them to get going. They’ll see it is not so bad once they get going.
  4. We can work out with them roughly how long the task should take. If it feels overwhelming, we can help them split it up into mini parts so it seems more realistic.
  5. Finally, we can talk to children about why they are procrastinating. What is it about the task they don’t want to do or what is stopping them from wanting to make a start? Some children worry that they won’t be able to do well at the task so would rather not attempt it. What is it that they are worried about?

It’s important to discuss procrastination and give our children the tools to deal with it. It’s a common problem and learning how to deal with it, is a very useful life skill. Once we know what the issues are, we can start to challenge and change their thoughts about the task.

How do you help your procrastinating child and what are their main reasons for it? I’d love to hear your thoughts – pop a comment below or via my social media channels.

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