Procrastination can kill success. But how can you prevent your kids from becoming procrastinators? Here are some important tips:
- Structure the assignment into small, manageable chunks. If you aren’t sure, make the task simpler. For instance, instead of saying, “You need to clean the kitchen,” you might say, “You need to clear off the table,” first.
- Positively reinforce prompt action. You continue, “If you start right now, I will help you.” Or you could say, “If you start right now, all you will need to do is clear the table.”
- Negatively reinforce delays. You continue, “But if you put off the job, I won’t help you and you will be on your own.” Or you could say, “And if you don’t start now, you will need to do the whole kitchen. It’s your choice.”
- Give positive comments for prompt action. A little praise can go a long way!
While it is true that your child may sometimes opt to delay the job even WITH this structure, they will understand the costs of procrastination and will avoid delaying for the most part. Be consistent, and your child will catch on fairly soon.