Dealing with Procrastination in Your Child

Dealing with Procrastination in Your Child

We’ve all done it. Procrastination. It’s frustrating, and, without a doubt, it’s regrettable. However, it really is a symptom of something else. Often, procrastination is a sign of fear of failure, fear of success, stubbornness, lack of motivation, lack of interest, or simply not knowing how to go about doing something. If you realize procrastination usually falls into one of these categories, it makes dealing with procrastination easier to handle.


Dealing With Procrastination in Your Child

geralt / Pixabay


Be a Role Model

When you need to do something that you don’t want to do, its’ okay to say “I really don’t want to do this, but this is the time I need to do it.” Then do it, and exclaim “Wow, that feels good to have done that and got it out of the way.” Children are sponges, they learn from what they see and hear. If you show them that you are doing things even when you don’t want to, aren’t sure how, or are afraid to do, then you are able to teach them self-discipline to help them avoid procrastination.

Find Out Why

Ask your child why they don’t want to do something. If they give you a reason such as, “I’m just not in the mood”. You’ll need to nip that in the bud. We don’t do things that need to be done because we’re in the mood. What if Mom or Dad wasn’t in the mood to work, buy groceries or drive the child to soccer practice? Would we just not do it? Explain to your child that we all have to do things we don’t want to do, but it feels good once it’s done. If they admit they’re not sure how, then teach them. I have to admit, I do try this one out on my kids – but normally they don’t really seem to care!

Set Goals & Prioritize Them

Helping your child set daily, or even hourly goals can help them avoid procrastination. If they have a large project, but it’s on the calendar broken up into smaller pieces, it will help your child avoid feeling overwhelmed. Children and even teenagers do not always know how to organize things to get them done best. Help them, if you don’t know how, find someone who can help break down big jobs into smaller pieces. In case of things that need to be completed right away, consider setting a kitchen timer so the child knows he or she has 5 more minutes to finish their game or whatever the item is.

In The Case of Rebellion

There are times when you’ll find out that your child is procrastinating to bring some control into their life. They want to choose when, where and how they do the task. Since you or a teacher has asked them to do this task, they will fight to do it their way, in their own time, no matter what you say or do. The best way to face rebellion is with a system of rewards. If you do this, then you get that. Rewards great for teenagers who like to play games, go out with their friends, or has a cell phone.

Most of the tie procrastination can boil down to the things mentioned in the first paragraph, and if you can identify the problem you can end procrastination. After all, it’s not an emotion, it’s a symptom. The most common reasons for children have to do with rebellion, fear of failure, and overwhelm or not knowing where to start. If you can help your child with these, you’ll have it beat.


(more parenting posts here)

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About the Author

I am a work from home mom who dearly loves her 15-year-old daughter, 11-year-old boy/girl twins, and husband. I love my life and feel very blessed by what God has provided for me.


  1. I think these are all great suggestions. I could use them for myself too because there are times that I need a swift kick in the butt to get moving!

  2. This was a great tutorial and I need to remember a lot of those tips for myself when i have things I need to get done and that can be daunting to start with. I will remember these tips and help my kids when they are having trouble getting started.
    Melissa Chapman recently posted..Weight Watchers Mediterranean Salad with Vegan Chick’n Recipe (Just 2 SP per serving)My Profile

  3. Procrastination is such a pain. It’s a bummer that kids learn it at such an early age, but you are right there are ways to deal with it for sure!

  4. These are great tips! I think that being a role model is the most important one! I will give the others a try too!

  5. We’ve been working on this with both of our kids. It only took once for them to miss out on something fun because they had to catch up on something they put off!
    Scott recently posted..The Best Phone Case for an iPhone 6/6sMy Profile

  6. Procrastination can be such a problem even for adults. These are great suggestions to help parents know how to deal with this issue.

  7. Hopefully this is a habit you can kick early. I regret being such a huge procrastinator when I was young.

  8. I totally agree! These are all great tips! Really useful for adults too!
    Toni | Boulder Locavore recently posted..Rich Chocolate Cherry Brownie Pots (allergy-friendly)My Profile

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