October 2004 Anticrastination Tip Sheet

What's the opposite of Procrastination?
THE ANTICRASTINATION TIP SHEET
An Idea and Tip Sheet to Blast Away the
Procrastination Habit
From Rita Emmett
Author of THE PROCRASTINATOR'S HANDBOOK
& THE PROCRASTINATING CHILD: A Handbook for Adults to Help
Children Stop Putting Things Off

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Quote for October

Did you ever hope to do something (like break your procrastination habit or help a child stop procrastinating) and people kept telling you it's impossible? Here are quotes from those kinds of people.

Everything that can be invented has been invented.
-- Charles H. Duell, Director of U.S. Patent Office, 1899

Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible.
--- Lord Kelvin, President Royal Society

Sensible and responsible women do not want to vote.
--- Grover Cleveland, 1905

There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom.
--- Robert Milikan, Nobel Laureate in Physics, 1923

Who the heck wants to hear actors talk?
--- Harry M. Warner, Warner Brothers Pictures, 1927

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Rita will be speaking to parents (& you can bring your children) about "Help Your Child Blast Away Procrastination" on Oct 19 at Glenbard West High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois at 7pm and Rita will sign books afterwards. There is no charge for this presentation. It's going to be fun. Come and join us.

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Message for October

Many of you don't have school-aged children, but please indulge the message this month. As a procrastinating kid, October was always particularly tough for me, so this month's
Tip Sheet is for parents of children who put things off.

Procrastinating Children Aren't Lazy

October is scary NOT just because of Halloween and goblins, it's also the month that most schools send out the first report card of the year. And have the first parent-teacher conference. Consequently, it's also the month that many parents are beating their heads against the wall wailing. "Why doesn't he turn in his homework." or "If she only studied a few minutes, she would have passed that test." or "They're smart; they're just lazy, Lazy, LAZY." I disagree. For example, the word "lazy" is not used even once in my book, "The Procrastinating Child: A Handbook For Adults to Help Children Stop Putting Things Off".
I believe kids procrastinate for a number of reasons, but lazy isn't one of them. When smart children do poorly with homework, parents have to be detectives to help them figure out what the problem is, otherwise, parents are working to solve the wrong problem.

Is there a chance that your child:

CAN'T SEE THE BOARD WHERE THE HOMEWORK IS WRITTEN?
Besides asking your child, ask the teacher if this could be the problem.

NEEDS TOOLS TO RECORD HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS?
Let your child accompany you to an office supply store to see if there is anything that might help him feel more organized in recording homework. If he is part of the shopping and selecting, he'll be more likely to use whatever you buy.

HAS A LEARNING DISABILITY AND NEEDS SPECIAL HELP?
Talk to the teacher. If that doesn't help but you still suspect something, look up Learning Disabilities on the computer (or have a computer-geek-friend look it up) and read all you can about it. If something seems to describe your child, print it out. If you don't want to encounter the teacher again, ask to speak to the school social worker.

NEEDS RULES IN THE HOME TO AVOID PROCRASTINATION?
Your child might now WANT these rules but might need them. Rules such as: After dinner, do homework first, then watch TV or play or use the computer or call your friends or whatever it is your child loves to do.

NEEDS A BETTER PLACE TO DO HOMEWORK?
Maybe your children are too distracted where they do homework, and they might need you to help them find a quiet spot to work. Or the opposite might be true. Perhaps YOU
loved working at a desk in your room, but your child might feel isolated and cut off. She might need to work at the kitchen or dining room table. If you're concerned that the
other kids or TV might distract her, tell her "You can do your homework here as long as you do it well, you complete it and hand it in on time. If not, then you won't do your
work here, get it?"

NEEDS A ROUTINE TIME FOR SCHOOL WORK?
Enforcing a regular schedule to do homework helps them know what is expected of them and eventually cuts down on battles with you.

NEEDS TO CHANGE THE ROUTINE?
When our son was six, the teacher encouraged us to teach him to sit down as soon as he arrived home to do his school work. It didn't work. This kid needed to run around outside
and let off steam before he could settle down to work. What works for one child might not work for another.

These are just a sample of the problems you might uncover. Work as a team with your child with both of you trying (like detectives) to figure out what is sabotaging her doing a good job with homework. When she sees that you care enough to search for a solution, she's more likely to become cooperative and together you might find the answer.
This will bring much more positive results than simply deciding that your child is not doing homework because she or he is lazy.

And now it's time to put on your detective hat. That's not something you'd ever procrastinate about, is it?

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