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Helping Children Beat Procrastination: Understanding and Overcoming Challenges.

children procrastination

Have you ever put off doing something important, like chores? Well, Procrastination is a behavior commonly witnessed not just in adults but also in children and teenagers. It can impact their academic performance, personal growth, and overall well-being. Now, let’s explore potential reasons why children may procrastinate, and then how to overcome it. 

Why children Procrastinate

Fear of Failure:

  • Children and teens may fear making mistakes. It is often driven by academic pressure or social expectations. This fear can lead to avoidance behaviors, causing delays in completing assignments or taking on new challenges.

Not Feeling Motivated:

  • If kids don't see why a task is important or exciting, they might not feel like doing it. Finding ways to make tasks more interesting can help motivate them.

Distractions and Highly Rewarding Activities:

  • Children and teens may procrastinate because they find other things more enjoyable and rewarding, particularly activities that trigger the release of dopamine (known as the “feel-good” hormone), such as playing on their phones. The instant gratification from these activities can make academic tasks seem less appealing in comparison. Understanding and managing these distractions is crucial in addressing procrastination tendencies.


  • Some children want everything to be perfect, a thing that doesn’t really exist. This desire for perfection is more common than you would think. Between avoiding a task due to the fear of not meeting high standards or actually finishing the task but with flaws, the choice may be difficult. It's essential to show children that it's okay to make mistakes and learn from them.

Poor Time Management:

  • Learning how to manage their time is a skill that is gradually learned through the child’s development. Procrastination can happen when they're not sure how to organize their day, and when or how to start a task.

Task Difficulty and Complexity:

  • Children may delay doing something if the tasks seem too hard. It can be overwhelming to start something that seems too difficult or complex. Breaking tasks into smaller steps and getting help can make things easier.

Tips to Beat Procrastination

Set Age-Appropriate Goals:

  • Encourage children to set realistic, age-appropriate goals. Kids can start by setting small, achievable goals. Breaking down tasks into smaller steps makes them more achievable and helps build a sense of accomplishment. It feels good to finish something, even if it's just a small part of a bigger task.

Establish a schedule:

  • Support your kids in making a plan for their day. Having a routine with time for homework, play, and other activities makes it easier to manage time. Learn more about consistency and routine.

Talk about worries:

Find the fun:

  • Connect tasks to things kids enjoy and explain to them why learning this particular skill will be beneficial for them. If they see the fun or importance of something, they'll be more motivated to do it. Learn more!

Celebrate Effort:

  • Praise kids for trying hard and finishing tasks. Positive words and small rewards can make them feel proud and motivated. Try the "Grandma's rule".

Teach Coping Strategies:

Team Up with Friends:

  • Encourage kids to work with friends on homework or chores. Teamwork efforts can provide a sense of accountability and motivation, reducing the likelihood of procrastination.

Procrastination is something everyone deals with, even kids. Cultivating skills to overcome procrastination early on not only enhances academic success but also sets the foundation for lifelong habits that contribute to personal and professional achievements. By setting goals, making schedules, and finding the fun in tasks, we can empower our kids to get things done and feel proud of their achievements


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