Question Nadeera Education

The parents’ role in children procrastinating

The parents’ role in children procrastinating

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  • Procrastination is a frustrating trait to witness in your child, and can manifest in different ways: it may be leaving a task until the last minute, failing to complete a task within a set time frame at all, or even simply ignoring a high-priority task in favour of a lower-priority and simpler task. There are numerous reasons why a child may put off a task, such as completing a piece of homework or performing a household chore. The cause of this may not be as simple as the child simply ‘being lazy’, however: a lack of relevance to their day-to-day lives, a lack of engagement with the task, poor personal time management or self-discipline, or even an anxiousness at the prospect of ‘failing’ may all be underlying reasons for procrastination. Tendency to procrastinate is likely to be magnified if children view their adult role models displaying the same behaviours. As a parent, supporting a child to understand what precisely is driving them to procrastinate is the most helpful approach to take. There are several ways to do this; first and foremost, it is a good idea to ask some questions to establish why the task is being put off. Once this is done, setting out clear expectations sets an achievable target for the child. However, the older the child, the more a parent should stress the value of autonomous thinking; if a teenager continues to procrastinate, it may be more beneficial for them to endure the consequences first hand to learn the value of good time and self-management. Emphasising the concept of personal responsibility is also valuable, as is modelling this kind of positive and self-regulatory behaviour. While children will always aim to delay tasks they consider undesirable, utilising the above techniques will imbue an understanding of why their completion is important, and therefore ideally minimize procrastination.