Why Kids Procrastinate and How to Help (page 2)

Find a School

Learn about your child's school rankings, parent reviews, and more.

Related Articles

Related Topics

based on 17 ratings
Updated on Mar 5, 2009

Pychyl cautions that children of authoritarian parents are in for a tough time later in life. “It’s important for parents to be gentle and encourage the development of self-regulation,” Pychyl says. “It takes time and maturity.”

Pychyl’s recent research examines the relationship between identity formation and procrastination. The study found that young people who hadn’t achieved their identity yet were more likely to procrastinate. “Ego identity is all part of just having ego executive functioning,” Pychyl says. “You have to be able to monitor your own behavior and choose to commit your resources to it.” Pychyl points out that people who don’t know themselves are not going to commit.

Metacognitive skills such as goal setting, breaking down tasks, and monitoring progress are all skills that parents can teach and model for their children—skills that can be learned. Pychyl says it’s more than just a matter of developing will: it’s also necessary to develop skill. “Skill and will together lead to self-regulatory success.”

Teaching Kids Not to Procrastinate: 10 Tips for Success

  • Reward, don’t punish.
  • Have realistic expectations. Don’t expect too much.
  • Change your parenting technique as your child gets older. (Don’t be stern with a 12-year-old in the same way you would be with a 3-year-old.)
  • Give your child choice and responsibility. Don’t always tell your child what to do.
  • Model positive, self-regulatory behavior. Teach goal setting, breaking down tasks, and monitoring progress.
  • Be understanding of your child who is still trying to find his or her identity.
  • Let your child fail or learn the consequences of his or her actions: don’t rescue your child.
  • Help make your child’s tasks concrete.
  • Recognize that procrastination is not laziness; people who procrastinate are generally very busy doing things they’re not supposed to be doing.
  • Remember that procrastination is learned behavior.

For more thought-provoking information on the psychology behind procrastination from Dr. Pychyl, take a look at his Psychology Today blog.

View Full Article
Add your own comment
DIY Worksheets
Make puzzles and printables that are educational, personal, and fun!
Matching Lists
Quickly create fun match-up worksheets using your own words.
Word Searches
Use your own word lists to create and print custom word searches.
Crossword Puzzles
Make custom crossword puzzles using your own words and clues.
See all Worksheet Generators