Procrastinating is a natural part of development for some children. Though it’s not the best quality to have, you should expect it as a parent and be ready to help your child grow out of it. Getting children to stop procrastinating is not always easy, but teaching your child the “Do it now” approach can help guide them through the process.
Why Children Procrastinate
The reason procrastination occurs is not that simple. Children don’t always procrastinate because they’re lazy. There are many reasons children could procrastinate.
Most times, when you ask your child to do something, they don’t follow through because the task doesn’t seem relevant to them. The idea of having to stop what they’re doing to put their toys away or make their bed, or something else that isn’t important in their mind, lowers the chances of your child completing the task.
Sometimes your child’s attention is divided between things they like to do. Sometimes children aren’t always fully conscious of what you ask them, so it may seem like your child is forgetful!
The bottom line is that procrastination is not always a character flaw. It can be changed with guidance and practice.
The “Do It Now” Approach
The solution to procrastination could be using the “Do it now” approach. The “Do it now” approach states that the longer you wait to do a quick chore, the harder it becomes.
When your child remembers a chore you asked them to complete, they should learn to complete the task immediately. Generally, what you ask your child to do is a simple task. By telling your child to complete the task as soon as possible, your child will begin to view the task as relevant and will learn that they should not put it off in the future.
Nobody likes to be interrupted during their free time. Encouraging your child to go the extra step when completing a task can make a world of difference!
“Do It Now” at Home
Let’s look at a few examples. Washing dishes is such a boring and time-consuming chore, especially when there’s a mountain of plates to clean. Teach your child to rinse their silverware after every meal. It takes less than a minute, without interrupting free-time, and helps develop a habit of cleaning up after themselves.
Another example of an easy chore to teach is taking out the trash. When your child is throwing something away and they notice the garbage bag is almost totally full, you can show them how to shove down the trash to make space or walk the bag outside.
Starting early on in your child’s development is the key to making the “Do it now” approach stick. Having your child put their toy away before they take another one out makes the transition between play-time and clean-up time almost seamless. Imagine, your child playing and putting things back in the correct place, at the same time!
The “Do it now” approach can be a very helpful developmental tool for parents of preschoolers and young children. It can build healthy habits that will combat procrastination and offer your child benefits that will serve them well in the future.
How Parker-Chase Battles Procrastination
At Parker-Chase Preschool, we dedicate ourselves to helping each child realize their fullest potential through a broad curriculum, opportunities to build responsibility and a personalized approach to the teaching/learning process.