Procrastination—it’s every person’s worst enemy. It’s frustrating enough when we catch ourselves putting off important tasks, but it can be even more so when we catch our children doing the same thing. There can be many reasons why this happens—anxiety, poor time management, apathy, etc.—but thankfully, there are just as many solutions.
Before you do anything, it’s best to get to the root of the problem first. Why, exactly, is your child procrastinating? Is it because they’re afraid they’ll fail? Is it because they don’t care about school? Once you figure out what’s going on, you can then go about trying to address it.
If a fear of failure is what’s driving your child’s procrastination, then it’s best to teach your child some self-compassion. Namely, try to tell them that it’s OK to mess up every now and then, and encourage them to be less critical of themselves by providing positive support.
Provide goals and/or rewards
The other side of caring too much is caring too little. If your child simply doesn’t care about their grades or schoolwork, then try to motivate them by providing rewards and other incentives for good academic work. You can also try shifting their goals. If they don’t care about school, try to get them to focus on something that they do care about that they need school for. For example, if your child cares about basketball, tell them that they need good grades in order to stay in school to play.
Break up a large task
Another reason why your child is procrastinating is because the task at hand just seems too overwhelming. The best way to address this, then, is to break it up into smaller, more manageable tasks. For example, if your child has to present an end-of-the-year project, break it down by focusing on the research first, then the writing, then the presentation, and so on.
If your child is still procrastinating on their work, it’s best to call in a professional to help them get back on track. At Learn with Dr. M, Dr Marie Mazza can help your child find the right strategies to succeed in school. Give her a call today at 516-739-4671 to learn more.