Are you a procrastinator? Procrastination is a widespread problem that never seems to go away. No one is born with a procrastination gene. It is an annoying habit that may have its roots in childhood. Although we may look back on childhood as a carefree time, a child’s life is structured around school. Parents and teachers rule, and children must obey.
Procrastination is all about avoiding something unpleasant.You will discover a plan for overcoming procrastination in my popular book, EFT For Procrastination. Most of us want to escape from following some of the annoying or seemingly punitive rules that are imposed by those in authority.
Is your child starting to show signs of becoming a procrastinator? Does he postpone putting clothes away, doing homework, studying for tests, finishing projects, or being on time? Do you find yourself nagging, yelling or punishing to no avail? What’s a parent to do?
These negative behaviors make sense if we look at them from a new point of view. Wouldn’t you prefer to kick back, relax or play rather than go to work, do the laundry or mow the lawn? So would your children. Adults choose to go to work or do tasks while children have no choice. I call this type of delay tactic, “I don’t wanna, and you can’t make me!”
Did your parents tell you that you were lazy? Lazy is what they called you when you didn’t do what they wanted. Do you tell your child that she is lazy? Negative labels can wound and continue to plague us years after we have left home.
When you are confronted with the “I don’t wanna” behavior try this Stop, Look and Listen Plan.
STOP nagging. Take some time to think about the problem.
- What is your goal for your child? Be specific.
- Are your expectations fair and reasonable for a child this age? If in doubt, check it out with a child development expert.
- Remind yourself that most children do not want to do jobs they don’t enjoy so why wouldn’t they prefer to play instead?
- What is your attitude about doing your own chores at work or at home?
LOOK inside yourself. What are you afraid will happen if your child doesn’t do his homework, chores, etc?
- Are you afraid that he will fail in school or in life?
- Are you afraid of what people will think about your child or about you as a good parent?
- Do you demand that your child do what you want because you want it that way? Why do you want it that way?
- Put yourself in your child’s place. Try to remember times when your parents or teachers assigned what you considered to be unreasonable demands on you.
LISTEN to what your child’s behavior is telling you.