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The Procrastination Problem: Why Do Students Procrastinate?

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All students struggle with procrastination at one time or another. Whether it’s putting off a project until the last minute or waiting to study for a big test until the night before, procrastination can lead to stress, frustration, and poor grades.

Effects Of Procrastination On Students

Students who procrastinate until the last minute tend to do much worse on assignments than their peers who started earlier—especially in their high school years. They often experience frustration, guilt, and higher levels of anxiety. This can lead to low self-esteem and even depression, creating a fall-off point for grades.

So, how do you help your child overcome the temptation to procrastinate? It starts with understanding what causes students to procrastinate in the first place.

What Are Some Causes Of Procrastination In Students?

  1. Fear of the outcome

  2. The student is afraid of failure so he or she doesn’t put the required planning or effort into assignments.

  3. Feeling overwhelmed

  4. The student may be intimidated by what he or she sees as a complex task or assignment. He or she may also be struggling to handle a number of different tasks at once.

  5. Too many distractions

  6. The student is distracted by all the other things that he or she would rather do, and has difficulty avoiding temptation.

  7. Uncomfortable work environment

  8. The student doesn’t have a suitable place to work on his or her assignments. The environment he or she works in is full of distractions or doesn’t have the proper materials.

  9. Perfectionism

  10. People think that perfectionists get a lot done, but often the truth is the opposite. Perfectionists tend to demand so much of themselves that they struggle to get started at all.

  11. Lack of motivation

  12. The student is not motivated to work on assignments, either out of boredom or because he or she doesn’t understand the material.

How To Help Your Child Avoid Procrastinating

Whichever issues your child may face, there are things you can do to help your student overcome procrastination.

Fearing the outcome?
Talk to your child about his or her fears. Talking about these fears will help your child feel better and let you help him or her address those fears. Let your child know that as long as he or she tries his or her best, you can find ways to overcome the challenges he or she may be fearing.

If a task or assignment is too complex, help your child break it down into smaller pieces and tackle them each individually. If your child has multiple assignments, help him or her create a schedule so he or she has time to work on each one.

Find a quiet place to work and power down all electronics, including cell phones and computers. If you child needs the computer for his or her assignment, install an app that blocks access to social media sites for a period of time. Removing these distractions makes it easier to focus on the task at hand.

Uncomfortable work environment?
Create a study space at home where your child can complete his or her school work. This can be at the kitchen table or at a desk—anywhere distractions can be kept to a minimum. Make sure the workstation has pencils, paper, and anything else your child needs to work.

Let your child know that he or she doesn’t have to be perfect. Everyone will make mistakes, the important part is doing the best he or she can and continue to improve. Let your child know the only way to get better at something is to practice, and that you are there to help.

Lack of motivation?
Create a reward system to recognize your child’s hard work. This can be for things big or small—like following his or her study schedule or getting a good grade on his or her latest assignment. Rewards don’t have to be big, just something to let your child know he or she is doing a good job.

Turn Procrastination Into Productivity

No matter the cause of procrastination, it’s important to understand that this habit can have a negative impact inside and outside of the classroom. As a parent, you can help your child overcome the procrastination problem by using these tips to help him or her develop better study habits and self-management. It’s never too late to get started!

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