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How can I help my child who is a slacker to stop procrastinating?

Michele Borba
Psychology
Slackers (kids who dawdle, put things off until the last minute, are unorganized, and have poor time management skills) often cut corners or don't hang into a task long enough often due to poor internal sense of time. So they think they worked longer than they did. Solutions:
  • Use timing devices. Agree on set work time and post to minimize excuses. "Read 30 minutes each night." Then provide a timing device to help child become own timekeeper: sand-timer, oven timer; older child: a stopwatch, cell phone alarm. You'll nag less and the timer will remind the child how much he needs to work.
  • Play "beat the clock." If you need your dawdler to do something in a hurry, turn your directions into a time game. Challenge your child: "Let's see how quickly you can finish that paper. Set the clock and Go!" Slowly reverse the role: "Did you challenge yourself to see how many problems you can finish in 30 minutes?"
Changing a slacker's ways will take commitment so stick with it. Your goal is to gradually wean him from his old ways of putting things off and cutting corners.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.