Helping Your Child When They Procrastinate: 5 Practical Steps
We’re all guilty of procrastinating sometimes. But most of us understand that it’s better to be productive and tackle projects and tasks as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, procrastination can be a big problem for children. Some kids are more prone to it than others. But helping your child when they procrastinate can make them realize the importance of getting things done in a timely matter.
Helping them deal with procrastination can also set them on a path of less stress and more success as they get older. It’s a characteristic they can take with them through school and into their career.
So, what can you do about helping your child to stop procrastinate (and maybe even stop doing it yourself)?
1. Make the Possible Outcome(s) Exciting
One of the keys to overcoming procrastination is to essentially “trick” your brain. A great way to help your child do this is to get them excited about the possibility of what could happen when they’ve finished a task.
For example, if they’ve been putting off cleaning their room, tell them to think about all of the things they can do once it’s clean or all of the toys they might find that they forgot about, etc.
2. Recognize the Problem With Perfection
Sometimes, kids put off doing the things they need to do because they’re afraid to fail. Reassure them that they don’t have to be perfect and that mistakes can (and will) happen.
It’s also a good idea to readjust their perception of failure. It doesn’t have to be a negative thing. When they view their mistakes or even their failures as learning experiences, they can grow and be more successful.
3. Break Down Bigger Tasks
To a child, looking at a larger task or a project can make it seem more overwhelming than it actually is. So try to help them break down the task into smaller chunks.
Once they get one “chunk” completed, it can help to boost their motivation and make them feel accomplished. As a result, they’ll be more excited to move onto the next one until the entire task is complete.
4. Set Rules, Restrictions, and Rewards
Remember, you’re still the parent, and a big part of parenting is setting boundaries for your kids. If they have a problem procrastinating with their homework or other household chores, put rules in place and let them know you expect those rules to be followed.
For example, once they complete their homework, they get to watch television or have their phone, etc., but not before. It’s often a good motivating incentive for them to get things done right away.
5. Remove Distractions
One of the biggest culprits of procrastination is distraction. It’s a problem for adults, too. For kids, it can be even easier to get distracted by electronics, television, or even their own imaginations.
Eliminate as many distractions as possible for your child when you’re trying to get them to work on something. You can set a time limit for their tasks or have a specific area of the home where they can go to work that has no distractions. By giving them support in this way, you’re setting them up to get things done quickly and efficiently.
Helping your child when they procrastinate isn’t always easy, especially if you struggle with it yourself. Keep the above-mentioned tips in mind to get started. And if you still need help or more information, parenting skills counseling may help.
Feel free to contact me for more information about how I can help you. Together, we can work on some of the best ways to motivate your child and eliminate procrastination altogether.