Parenting Tools

Wait! Stop procrastinating!!

If your child's back in school, and, let's face it, even if she's not, you're hearing this declaration echo through the house: "I'll DO it! Later!" These very familiar words can apply to homework, chores, even brushing teeth or thanking Grandma for the nice new school shoes.

Call it whatever you like - being sassy, defiant, downright disrespectful or pre-adolescent - it all comes down to your child's uber-efforts to put things off. In grown-up-speak, we call this "procrastination."

Everyone does it. But when our kids do it, things get extra-frustrating. We worry they are developing bad study habits and a work ethic that will never cut it in today's world - not to mention tomorrow's.

So how can you teach your kids to "just do it?" I've outlined some tips in my book, Beyond Smart. Here's a brief excerpt:

Tell your children it's important to complete tasks and help them...

  • Foster good work habits
  • Create work routines
  • Break projects down into smaller chunks
  • Organize projects and tackle the least appealing step first
  • Map out deadlines and set time limits for each step
  • Set up a reward system for completing a  task
  • If needed, get tutors, outside help - or contact your child's school about the homework load

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