The Procrastinating Child
A Handbook for Adults to Help Children Stop Putting Things Off
By Rita Emmett
(Walker & Company, Paperback, 9780802776365, 192pp.)
Publication Date: October 2002
Parents, grandparents, teachers, supervisors, even baby-sitters, can be driven to distraction by a child’s repeated procrastination. However, their distress is nothing compared to the toll procrastination takes on the child—eroding self-confidence, undermining self-esteem and relationships, increasing anxiety, and paving the way for similar behavior as an adult that can be even more costly.
Helping a child stop procrastinating is one of the best gifts an adult can share, and Rita Emmett’s informative and engaging new book is the place to start. Based on her own procrastination and parenting seminars and on interviews with hundreds of people about what works and what doesn’t, Emmett offers proven techniques to defuse the frictions caused by youthful procrastination. Her central point is that, far from being a character flaw, procrastination—in children as in adults—is usually a habit that can be changed.
Whether avoiding chores or homework or neglecting goals—or in dozens of other situations—children of all ages procrastinate for many reasons:
- feeling overwhelmed or confused and not knowing where to begin
- lack of motivation
- a subversive desire to assert control by not doing what’s asked
- a dislike of the task
- subconscious fears or anxieties about failure
- poor time management skills
In each case, Emmett provides strategies for breaking through a child’s defense mechanisms or reluctance to talk, and for establishing rules and guidelines that encourage young children and teenagers alike to face obligations in a timely way. Lighthearted and rewarding, The Procrastinating Child is an invaluable resource.
Rita Emmett is a professional speaker who leads workshops on clutter and procrastination. Author of The Procrastinator's Handbook (more than 150,000 copies sold) and The Procrastinating Child, Emmett has dispensed advice on NBC’s “Today Show” and in Time, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Family Circle, and Parents. She also publishes a monthly online “anticrastination.”