Is Your Child Procrastinating? – H&S Education & Parenting
How To Deal With A Procrastinating Child Who Struggles To Stick To A Schedule
Is your child leaving his/her homework for the last minute? Is there difficulty sticking to a schedule? Dealing with a procrastinating child can be quite a challenge for parents. As a parent, you need to understand that children don’t always put off chores, or responsibilities just because they don’t feel like doing them or are being lazy. Sometimes a child could procrastinate for other reasons, and it’s therefore important to understand why, for example, he/she may be having trouble with a specific skill related to time management.
Below are 3 possible reasons that can make it difficult for a child to begin and complete a task:
Unable to plan & complete tasks due to problem with the working memory
Unable to maintain focus on a particular task
Unable to estimate time
If your child is procrastinating, here are some of the common patterns you might have noticed:
- Beginning a task but not completing it until last minute
- Pausing, getting distracted, and then losing track of time
- Avoiding a particular task as it seems too difficult
- Running late most of the time and taking forever to get the task done
- When asked if task is completed, and the response is yes, when it isn’t actually done
How Can You Help?
Stop Assuming & Labelling Your Child ‘Lazy’- This can not only make your child feel bad about themself, but also doesn’t help the situation. A child with acalculia will put off his maths homework because he/she is struggling.
Use A Timer To Help Adhere To Time- Whether it’s a visual timer or a countdown clock, this can help children who can’t estimate time, stick to the time, by reminding them how much time they have left.
Plan “Brain Breaks”- These can help your child stay on track. Planning before the child gets distracted, frustrated and loses focus, is advisable. This can be 10-15 mins after work for younger kids, and 20-30 mins after work for older kids.
Break The Task Down Into Simple, Manageable Chunks- Breaking tasks down, and even setting deadlines for each chunk, can help children who struggle with organization and planning.
Don’t Resolve To Punishment- Scolding & punishing a child who is struggling can only make things worse, shaking his/her confidence. Instead, use ‘Reward’ to encourage your child.