Thursday, October 28

My son leaves everything for later … how to teach him not to procrastinate?



Surely the scene sounds familiar to you: your son or daughter has to do homework, either at home (setting the table) or at school (studying, doing homework, doing a job) and It delays it, delays it, until perhaps there is no more time to do the task in a relaxed and effective way (Or until we adults lose our nerves seeing how they do not approach the task and, perhaps, we do it or help them more than necessary to complete it). And, like in a loop, this pattern repeats itself over and over again: you have a task, you put it off for later, we lose our nerve, we do it halfway or we help you do it and we start over. Don’t you think this loop is dangerous? Do you want to get out of it? We give you some ideas.

1. To teach him not to procrastinate, set an example.

As we always say, teaching by example is the best way to educate. Marina Escalona expressed it this way in a presentation at an event of ‘Managing children’: “Many parents ask me what they can do with their child. No, the issue is what do you have to do with yourself. Because the time to direct the lives of our children has passed and we have to start to inspire, to become a benchmark ”.

If your son or daughter sees that you too are procrastinating, delaying the inevitable until it’s too late, and just putting yourself under enormous pressure, your son or daughter will learn that pattern and think it’s a good way to do it. function. For this reason, it is important to set a good example and organize our time in the best way, to see how, if we organize ourselves better, we can face in a more positive way a task that is unavoidable.

To better organize ourselves and help them do so, it may be helpful to follow these guidelines:

1. Do not forget why we do what we do. If we remember why it is important to submit a report (although it is tedious, but it is essential to tackle a more pleasant task later), why we should wash the car, why it is important to go out to exercise, etc. we will probably have less tendency to delay it.

2. Divide the task into small milestones. If we see the task as something big or vague, we will think it unmanageable and we will not want to tackle it. But if instead of proposing to make a mess at home every Sunday we propose to clean a room a day, it will probably seem like an easy challenge to tackle and it will make us less lazy to get down to it.

2. To teach him not to procrastinate, let him live the consequences.

If when we have agreed that our son has to set the table and we set it because he does not do it or when we know that our daughter has to deliver a job tomorrow and has not yet gotten into trouble and we start to do it with her, they we are rescuing from the consequences of their decisions or agreements made as a family.

And therefore, as Antonio Ortuño points out, we are not educating them on responsibility. As told in an interview from Educar es Todo, “when a rule is established, for example, ‘you can watch TV when you put on your pajamas’, the goal is not for you to put on your pajamas, but to decide. That’s why I don’t like to talk about rules, exclusively, but about decisions. To hold our sons and daughters responsible, it is necessary for them to make decisions, and for them to make decisions, we must take advantage of the innumerable daily situations that we have to structure reality, that is, specify alternatives and consequences, taking into account that the control of the alternatives is our sons and daughters (they have the right to wear pajamas or not), but the control of the consequences is of the adult world (the only way to watch TV is with pajamas on) . And the emotions must be the same, decide one thing or the other ”.

If our children experience the consequences of doing a job under pressure, of not having studied enough, or of not doing a homework assignment, they will probably want to organize better next time.

3. To teach you not to procrastinate, do not forget empathy and flexibility

Doing unpleasant tasks is difficult and causes emotions such as anger, nervousness, frustration … In addition, we cannot forget that new technologies have made it much more difficult to concentrate.

What Álvaro Bilbao told us in a presentation of a Managing children event, “Most of us have been using smartphones since 2010. Who of you notice that in recent years you have been a little more intelligent?” The auditorium erupts in laughter and no one raises their hand. “Now I want you to raise your hand for those of you who, since you have a smartphone, feel a little less patient, it is difficult for you to be at a dinner with your partner without consulting your mobile phone, it is difficult for you to be at the bus stop without taking out your mobile to check something because it is more difficult for you to wait ”.

Of course, a vast majority of us would raise our hands at this point. Understanding this context and the effort involved in concentrating and not delaying tasks in a world full of distractions at the click of a button can help us to take care of our relationship with our children and to educate with more calm and less despair.

Also, fostering guilt for “wasting time” does not help to stop. An investigation into the effects of procrastinating revealed that students who forgive themselves for doing so tend not to repeat the pattern. However, if they can be blamed or angry it is more difficult for them to get to work next time.


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