Four ways to help your kids overcome procrastination

Mar 14, 2023
To do list with color-coded items

It’s officially back-to-school season, and that means readjusting to a more structured and organized schedule for you and your kiddos. This is the BEST time to 1) teach your children the importance of forming good habits and 2) use those habits to get them settled into a routine!

As a productivity coach, I mainly help busy, stressed-out women take back control of their lives. But guess what? A lot of the tips and tricks I teach my clients can 100% apply to kids, too, and I'm excited to share some of them with you. Let's dig into four ways that you can help your children have a productive and successful school year.


Break the work up into chunks

My dad always told me growing up, “The best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time." It’s easy for kids to fall behind quickly when they're faced with large projects or assignments on top of family life and extracurricular activities. The good news is that 99% of the time, nothing is as overwhelming as it seems!

A simple way to make an intimidating assignment seem a little more approachable is to have your kiddos break their work up into chunks (or bites, to reference my dad's quote!). I recommend teaching your children the art of a workback schedule. Say one of them has a research project due on September 30th. Rather than stressing over it and waiting until the last minute to complete it, they can give themselves mini due dates. Maybe their research needs to be done by the 9th, an outline by the 16th, a rough draft by the 23rd, and a final copy by the 30th. Not only does a workback schedule like this make the project seem easier to tackle, but it also prevents procrastination!


Get on a routine

Routines are a MUST when implementing good habits into your kids' lives, especially when school is winding back up. The most important thing to think about when forming routines for your children is to consider what works for them. Not everyone's routine looks the same (i.e. maybe one of your kids likes to do their homework right after school, but the other is most productive after dinner), and that's okay!

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Block schedule their days: Identify set times of day for your kiddos to do their schoolwork, have free time, and participate in extracurriculars
  • Think ahead: Have your kids help with preparing their lunches and/or outfits the night before so they're never scrambling in the morning


Discuss the consequences

There are bound to be times when one of your children asks for a poster the night before a project is due. We've all been there...even if we were the one asking, ha! There also might be times when they're simply falling behind in their school work. As much as the heat of the moment can be a lot to deal with, this is the ideal time to discuss the consequences of that procrastination, and then to create a game plan to prevent it from happening again.

It sounds cliché, but kiddos really do learn from their mistakes. Try discussing how the situation ended up happening, what steps your child did or didn’t take, and what steps they can take next time. This will teach them to think about the consequences of their actions moving forward, and it will motivate them to stay on top of their work!


Validate every milestone!

It's so important to validate your little scholars for all of their hard work! Positive reinforcement is key, especially for the youngins out there.

There are plenty of different rewards you can give them for a job well done, whether that be a trip to the ice cream shop to celebrate turning in their big project or giving them 15 minutes of screen time after they read a chapter of their summer reading book. Even offering verbal validation will have such a positive effect on your child's self-esteem and make them feel proud of themselves for doing their work, sending them down a solid path. Remember, we're celebrating the little things, not just the As on the report card!


If you want help getting a procrastination action plan together for your child, my productivity power hour might be for you. Submit my contact form today to book your free discovery call!


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