Does your child have problems with the constant procrastination in completing assigned tasks? After returning from school, he is unable to mobilize himself to do his homework or constantly delays cleaning the room? If so, this is not an isolated incident! Many young children and adolescents tend to procrastinate. What exactly is this phenomenon, what does it consist of and can it be remedied in some way?
What is procrastination?
The phenomenon of procrastination is nothing more than postponing duties. It can apply to all of us, regardless of age. However, we observe them very often in children – several-year-olds, as well as teenagers. The notorious postponement is seen especially in school-age children. Self-discipline in learning for testing or doing homework is one of the greatest challenges they face in everyday life.
Procrastination is common among students. A significant group of schoolchildren suffer from them. Postponing learning and indulging in pleasure causes the student a momentary joy and an improvement in mood, which quickly disappears when the student has to do a large amount of homework or master the test material in a hurry. The child then regrets that there is no more time to study, and the increasing time pressure causes stress and embarrassment.
Effects of child procrastination
The most common effects of procrastination in children are undoubtedly lower grades at school, school failure, and neglect of housework. In many children, they can lead to emotional disturbances such as anxiety and stress. If a child’s acts of procrastination are frequent and become the norm, they can cause more serious problems. The best example is cognitive impairment, such as memory problems.
Children who notoriously postpone their education to later, additionally feel reluctant to be at school. They do not find themselves in lessons where they understand less and less, and may also have poorer relations with their peers. Sometimes, without the help of a psychologist, they may develop disorders that will return to work in the future. Thus, child procrastination can have many years of consequences.
Factors enhancing procrastination in children
Child procrastination is a problem that is more and more visible among the representatives of the youngest generation. A dozen or so years ago, children were much more willing to work and help their parents. Today, due to new technologies and the enormity of entertainment they can enjoy in their free time, postponement is more and more common.
Contemporary toys and games are characterized by a high level of multimedia and interactivity. On the one hand, they are interesting for a child, and on the other hand, they make traditional learning with the use of books not as attractive as it used to be. Although we encounter new technologies with increasing frequency in education, they are usually not as advanced as those used by children in their free time and are consequently resentful.
How to fight child procrastination?
If your child is procrastinating, think about what might be causing the behavior. If you or other household members are in the habit of postponing responsibilities, try to make sure that the child has good role models. The next step you have to take is to reduce distractions. If your child constantly watches TV or plays games on the phone, try to control the time he or she spends being entertained.
Many children who habitually postpone their responsibilities actually need some stimulation from the parent. In many cases, it is not laziness that causes the phenomenon, but a lack of self-control. This is a deep problem, and ignoring it by a parent can cause anger and negative emotions in the child.
Parents' requirements are a reason to postpone
Many parents are unaware that their behavior may result in postponing responsibilities for their youngest. This applies to both overly laid back parents who are not in control of their child and what he does in his spare time, and to those who are very demanding and have high expectations.
Often, parental dissatisfaction with the work done by a child may result in reluctance to act. Caregivers who expect too much from their children, provide them with various extracurricular activities and place excessive emphasis on learning, not allowing entertainment, can provoke a rebellion in the form of procrastination.
Procrastination and a visit to a child psychologist
In many cases, introducing discipline and controlling what a child does in their spare time can effectively encourage them to change their daily habits. There are also children for whom procrastination is much deeper and their parents are not able to provide them with effective help. In such cases, solving the problem may require a visit to a child psychologist who will help diagnose the source of the problem and propose an appropriate therapy.
Child procrastination is a life-long phenomenon, so it is important to react to it as soon as you notice the first symptoms. If your child is constantly postponing duties and you are unable to fulfill them, choose a consultation with a child psychologist.