But is she studying? No—she’s talking on the phone. She has an important paper due next week. But instead of sitting at the word processor, she’s watching a rerun of I Love Lucy.
Most teens put things off at one time or another. But some teens procrastinate regularly. In addition to driving their parents crazy, these teens end up creating stress. They usually don’t do as well as they could.
How can parents help teens overcome procrastination? Here are some tips:
• Help your teen think realistically. Divide a piece of paper into two columns. In the left column, she can write all her excuses. But in the right column, she needs to write her realistic thoughts about what is really going on. For example, Excuse: I’m not in the mood. Realistically: If I wait for the right mood, it may never get done.
• Develop some positive self-talk. Saying things like, “There’s no time like the present” really works!
• Help your teen get organized. Kids who procrastinate may also have a hard time finding everything they need. You might try creating a “homework box” for supplies.
• Set priorities. Have your teen write down what needs to be done in order of importance. Then start at the top and work down.
• Break it down. It may be overwhelming to write the whole paper. But tonight, your teen can just make an outline.
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