Prevent Procrastination in Students at Home
- Establish a set time to do tasks that your child puts off. If your child knows that homework begins after an hour of play, there’s less need to nag as the schedule becomes a habit.
- Make a preferred activity a reward for the on-time completion of a non-preferred activity. Say, “If you are ready for school by 7, you can watch cartoons for the half-hour before the bus comes.”
- Have all materials and supplies readily available and accessible. Your child should be able to start his work without having to get up to look for something.
- Ask your child to commit to a start time. When the time comes, your child may not remember to start the task on her own, but when you remind her that she chose the time, she’s likely to start without a fight.
- Use visual cues. Leave a note on the kitchen table or pinned up on the fridge or cabinet, so he sees it when he gets home from school.
- Let your child choose how he wants to be cued. Say, “OK, you’ve said you’ll start doing homework at 4 o’clock -- how do you want to be reminded? Should we set an alarm, do you want me to remind you, or will you know to start the job when your favorite TV program ends at 4?”
- Reward your child for starting right away: five points for starting immediately, three points for starting within three minutes. Create a rewards menu of privileges that your child can trade in his points for.
- Create structure during summer vacation. Have your child begin each day by making a plan. She should list what she has to do and when she’s going to do it. Ask her how she can reward herself for starting each task on time.
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