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  1. #1
    gatorsmom is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Default Give me your best ideas for teaching kids not to procrastinate...

    One of my kids is the WORST procrastinator I've ever seen. He has depression and anxiety and I wonder if that sabotages his confidence so that he won't start projects. He lets them build up and build up until the stress is so high he's ready to burst. Do you have any suggestions on how to help with this? He's on antidepression medication and he regularly works with a fantastic therapist. She is great but I'm not sure if this is something he has really talked to her about. If I remember correctly, this topic has come up here before. I didn't find much with a search, though. Do you parents have any suggestions or previous experience with this? TIA!
    "People are made for happiness. Rightly then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But he asks you to trust him." -St. John Paul II

  2. #2
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    Some of us do well under that time crunch. Ds1 is the same way. Iím sure itís hard to watch but I think some people are wired that way. They know all of the tools but still choose to wait. I would focus on the tools but accept that some people wonít change their style.


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  3. #3
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    KpbS is online now Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    I don’t know but last year what I did is insist my DS make a schedule for writing his very long term paper. He started earlier than he wanted to and I assigned chunks of the paper to be done each day. He was to be finished with the writing two days in advance of the due date to allow for editing, then typing, and submission. It was a MUCH less stressful process DS admitted and I think he’ll follow this schedule again this year.

    I probably would insist he works with you to make a schedule for work and then have him show you his daily progress. He’ll need this skill for college.
    K

  4. #4
    NCGrandma is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnuggleBuggles View Post
    Some of us do well under that time crunch. Ds1 is the same way. Iím sure itís hard to watch but I think some people are wired that way. They know all of the tools but still choose to wait. I would focus on the tools but accept that some people wonít change their style.


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    I agree, but it can be hard for those of us with a "plan ahead" style to accept. DC still prefers a "just in time" approach, even as a senior administrator in a high pressure university. But having good staff members with a different work style has gone a long way to make it workable.


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  5. #5
    gatorsmom is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCGrandma View Post
    I agree, but it can be hard for those of us with a "plan ahead" style to accept. DC still prefers a "just in time" approach, even as a senior administrator in a high pressure university. But having good staff members with a different work style has gone a long way to make it workable.


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    Yes, it is painful to watch. I volunteer at a place where the staff usually runs on a just in time approach. It is not efficient and quite often leads to inferior work as steps get missed or skipped to save time. I think the reasons adults procrastinate can be different from the reasons kids do. I'm guessing in my son's case, his procrastinating is due to a lack of confidence. The work builds up and up into a mountain when really it's still just a molehill. But I know that the things I procrastinate doing as an adult are things I don't enjoy and so wait for inspiration to hit me OR it's things I don't enjoy and want someone else to take over for me.

    I like the idea of scheduling out the term paper. He already does that. What we need are systems to prevent him from wasting time. I suggested giving me his cell phone and deleting fun games from his computer. Praying (meditation for the nonreligious folks) makes me be quiet and then I can see the small details I can chip away at versus the large project looming down at me. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Because he needs a few more tools under his belt to deal with this problem.
    "People are made for happiness. Rightly then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But he asks you to trust him." -St. John Paul II

  6. #6
    hbridge is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    BTDT. Ask him if he will let you help with time management on the next project. BRIBE him if you have to. Make sure he knows it's a one time thing unless he wants your help in the future. Tell him that this is how you do things and find that it works well, allowing for plenty of time and a more relaxed pace. Help him plan his time and help him stay on track to complete each piece within a schedule you set up together (with some flexibility to ensure he has some control). Once the project is done, talk about it. Let him know that this is YOUR way. He can take from it what works for him and tweak the system. Ensure that he agrees that it was less stressful and produced a better product. Then you need to step back and let him figure out how to incorporate what worked from "your way" into his future projects.

    I just saw your update... No electronics during homework time. Have him leave his phone in the kitchen, turned off.

    DC has a big, non-school related, project every year and the push to get the visuals done EVERY year is insane. She waits till the VERY LAST MINUTE. Finally, I set different deadlines and it took some doing, but worked. After the year the glue was not yet dry when we left for the presentation was the year that I said "NO MORE".

    ETA: My child admits to procrastinating this last step of the project because it is completely overwhelming and she does not know how to start it. When I finally got her to let me help, the entire layout process took about 30 minutes. She was procrastinating because she didn't know where to start and just need a little guidance to move forward.
    Last edited by hbridge; 10-18-2021 at 10:50 AM.

  7. #7
    SnuggleBuggles is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
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    It's great to offer ideas. But, I know for me that it is very rare that I will use my time efficiently if I were weeks away and basically told to sit there and think about the project. I never would. Even while working on things I will take a few brain breaks and do things like play a quick game on my phone. SOme people would insist on no music while others work so much better with it on. There's not going to be a universal answer.
    with a high school or college project, it can be helpful to work with others. Even if you are working independently in the same space, you can get inspired to accomplish more if your friends are hard at work. Schedule some study groups weekly to stay on track.
    I think setting small goals is a good first step. Just do one thing. It can be super easy but it will feel good to check it off.

  8. #8
    MSWR0319 is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Have you asked him why he procrastinates? Because maybe to him itís not procrastinating. Maybe to him the plan is to wait until a certain time and do it. I am a planner in general. However, I know that I produce my best work closer to the deadline. So while to some it may look like procrastinating, itís not. Itís the method I use to produce a good outcome.

  9. #9
    gatorsmom is offline Pink Diamond level (15,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSWR0319 View Post
    Have you asked him why he procrastinates? Because maybe to him it’s not procrastinating. Maybe to him the plan is to wait until a certain time and do it. I am a planner in general. However, I know that I produce my best work closer to the deadline. So while to some it may look like procrastinating, it’s not. It’s the method I use to produce a good outcome.
    Oh boy, I wish this was part of his plan. No, unfortunately he admitted to procrastinating and I watched as he beat himself up about it this morning. He was complaining about the time we wasted this weekend. He and I are very alike in some ways. I was a procrastinator at his age too. I couldn't start a paper months in advance. I waited until close to the deadline. But the same sense of dread and urgency that pushed me to get things done as the due date approached, does not seem to affect him. He is more like hbridge described- paint on the project still wet while leaving for the presentation. He doesn't like this tendancy any more than I do and wishes he could change it.
    "People are made for happiness. Rightly then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But he asks you to trust him." -St. John Paul II

  10. #10
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    I just let DS2 totally fail which was hard on both of us. There was an application for a club he really wanted to be part of. I knew it was a lot of work and would require time. Plus I would be needed to proofread. We had an open block of time we set aside to work on it and then I would proofread. He only produced about 10% of what needed to be done after me giving him two check points. He knew he lost my help after this designated time. He did do more work and turned it in solo, but did not make it into the club.

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