You might be teaching your kids to procrastinate without even knowing it!
Do not feel bad, I was too.
As a parent, I often sit back and reflect on my parental duties and actions, evaluate myself and wonder if I am doing more harm than good. Being a parent is not an easy job. Your kids don’t listen when you want them too, however they observe your actions and form their habits based on what they see. Not fair I know.
Here are some ideas to help your kids stay on task and grow up to be action takers not procrastinators.
THE BEST TIME TO DO THINGS IS NOW: If you hear your child talk about something they want or need to do, ask them when they plan on taking action. Tell them, “NOW sounds like a good time to start.” The hardest part of starting anything is taking action and beginning. You plan on doing the dishes or organizing a corner in your garage only to realize your are vacuuming the house or cleaning out your entire garage. Your child has a school project due in two weeks, great, take 5 minutes and write an outline, you can always modify it later.
STAMP A DATE OR TIME WHEN YOU ARE GOING TO DO IT: This is where you will find failed parenting . I am 100% guilty of this one, but have gotten much better. Your child asks you to do something or get them something for a school project and you say ok, but when are you going to do it? If you aren’t specific with them, they realize it is not important to you. Parent fail, bad habit taught. Put dates or deadlines on everything and expect the same from them. Tell your daughter she needs to clean her room, expect a timeline when it is going to be done, follow-up!
TEACH YOUR KIDS TO TAKE PRIDE IN THEIR WORK: If your son is going to spend the night at a friends house, have them pack their bag. Go over what they need to bring, assist but do not take over the job. Second, make sure your child carries their own bag. These little actions give them pride in themselves and they enjoy the feeling of independence. Parents often get too involved in every little thing because they are concerned their kids will make a mistake, or mess something up. Two things happen, your child doesn’t learn from their mistakes and they just tune out and do not pay attention because they know you will take over.
For example, at Tiger Rock Martial Arts, we are often reminding parents that their children are required to check-in themselves when they come to class. Parents should not do it for them. Green belts and above should be carrying their own sparring bags since it is their gear.
We know teaching your child to be more independant is not always convenient and requires an extra time investment. There are no “get rich quick” investments that really work and the same philosophy applies to teaching independence.
Keep up the hard work parents, you are doing a great job. Just make a few adjustments and everyone will see some big improvements.