Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Keeping Your Cool

How to stop your child from procrastinating when doing homework

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article


Something strange started happening to your kids recently.

Suddenly, they are not cute little toddlers anymore. As you send them to the middle school, you see them as young adults slowly becoming responsible people.

But, somewhere along the way, they start to abuse those responsibilities – by procrastinating. We have all been through that as parents. Ours is to fight it and put our beloved children on the right path.

This all can be done without much yelling and nagging – the polite way. This article will give you certain psychological tips and pieces of software to help you with it.

1. Recognize the reason for procrastination

It is very important to know why your kid procrastinates, because something may be troubling them and you do not know about. Talk to them openly about everything.

The most common reasons for procrastination are:

  • It may not be important enough to your kid. Or they simply perceive it as such.
  • The task may be very boring for them.
  • They are afraid of the teacher/school or they are anxious that they will fail
  • They have bad time management skills
  • They need to have better self-discipline

Once you see the reason for procrastination, it gets easier to seek the solution.

2. Let the children plan their breaks

One way to make your kind avoid procrastination is to ask them to plan their own schedule of doing homework and ask them to stick to it.

You can even visualize it by making a huge plan and hang it in their room. Once they finish their task, they can check it on the board as done.

What kind of effect this has?

Well, the kids will have a visual representation of their achievements. They will start learning more about success and eventually start doing homework without procrastination. This will definitely have a long-term effect and they will grow up using different schedules and time planners, managing to do everything on time.

3. Use the Pomodoro Technique

Using Pomodoro technique will make your children learn the value of work and deserved break.

How does it actually work?

Well, Pomodoro involves 25 minutes of active work and 5 minute short break afterwards. In other words, time should be made into this chunks and this ought to increase the productivity as well as change the perspective on procrastination.

There is a tool called Strict Workflow and it blocks the browser for 25 minutes when the kid is supposed to work. After 25 minutes, the browser is available again for 5 minutes. This tool is neat for kids who procrastinate by using the Internet too much.

4. Offer reasonable rewards for their effort

Small things such as candy bars, a promised trip or a game of soccer with your children have a positive effect on their homework routine and lower procrastination to the minimum level.

This is the simplest psychological trick and it works every time. What you should not do is make promises that you cannot fulfill or keep delaying them because this is one bad example that can have a completely opposite effect.

Many times, writing essays for homework can be very demotivating for the children. It is one of the most procrastinated tasks out there. One neat little application is called Written? Kitten! And it is great for kids that love kittens. Whenever they write the certain amount of words, they get a picture of a kitten. If they fail to meet the deadlines, you can always contact the professional help for essay writing.

5. Show your children how to give their best

It is important to remember that you are the first role-model which your kids look up to. Parents often do not have enough time to teach their children time management and self-discipline.

This is why you should consider working on these two aspects of life with your children on a daily basis. However, these instructions should be 30% tell and 70% show.


Well, we all know that all children unconsciously copy us and eventually become similar to us. If we try hard to present ourselves as hard-working, get-the-job-done people, they will unconsciously try to follow that pattern and minimize procrastination.

To sum up, kids will be kids and they all have ways of doing (or not doing) things and it is your job as a parent to guide them during that process. These tips and tools may come in handy if you notice that your kid is procrastinating, but remember one thing – never push them to do anything that is completely against their will.

Remember that young teenagers are still kids and that homework is not the only thing that they should focus on and that, after all, they should have the freedom to plan their activities. Your role is just to show them how to do it.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.