#044 Myths and Truths About Procrastinating Teens

Procrastination is a natural human habit and tendency, but you don’t have to be its slave.

” I procrastinated as a teen, and I turned out fine. Sometimes I had to pay the consequences, but sometimes I reaped the benefits. Now, I’ve learned how to be in control of how and when I do things.”
~ Ben Pugh

5 Myths About Procrastinating Teens

Myth #1 My Teen is Lazy

This is a flat-out lie. Just because your teen procrastinates, does not mean your teen is lazy. This is something most of us have heard and believed.

Most teens work really hard in some areas of their lives even though they don’t in others.

Myth #2 Procrastination is a Character Flaw

This is a lie. Procrastination is not a character flaw. Procrastination doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with your teen. When you think, “Procrastination is a character flaw in my teen,” how does that make you feel? With most parents, thoughts like this lead to feelings of worry, doubt, and fear, which often lead to the action of trying to control, change, or fix their teen.

Myth #3 Procrastination Will Ruin My Teen’s Life

Many parents worry that procrastination will ruin their teen’s life. As a former, and sometimes current procrastinator, I can tell you that procrastination has yet to “ruin” my life. Yes, it comes with some disadvantages and sometimes negative consequences, but nothing that has ever even held me back in life.

Myth #4 My Teen will ALWAYS Be a Procrastinator

Again, this is your brain catastrophizing. You are worried about “the worst” possible future. How does this feel? What effect does this belief have on your actions?

The truth is, your teen might procrastinate certain things in their future. But I promise, they will learn what they need to learn from procrastination. In some areas they will decide, “Waiting until the last minute isn’t worth it.” When they decide this, they will stop procrastinating, likely on their own.

Myth #5 Procrastination is a HUGE Problem

A teen recently told me, “Procrastination is only a problem for my teachers and my parents. It doesn’t bother me at all.”

How often is this the truth? We label our kids as procrastinators because they don’t jump through the arbitrary time restrictions that the adults have set in their lives.

Yes, there are consequences that come with procrastination, but your teen is more than capable of dealing with and rising above the consequences.

5 Truths About Procrastinating Teens

Truth #1 Procrastination is Part of Being Human

Everyone has, will, and is procrastinating something somewhere in their life. This is how we manage things. We’ve evolved to do this as a species. Every time we procrastinate something, and then it simply goes away, our brain validates procrastination.

Yes, there can be major disadvantages to procrastinating, but it is a habit we have developed as a species because on some level it has served us.

Truth #2 Your Teen Can Learn How to Stop Procrastinating

There are some simple, and powerful things your teen can learn to stop procrastinating. Procrastination isn’t a life sentence. It’s not something outside of your teen’s control.

Your teen, if they want to, can totally learn how to be proactive and master the skill of doing things on time and/or early.

Truth #3 Your Teen Can Procrastinate and Still Be Successful

I know tons of teens who have been labeled or have labeled themselves, as procrastinators, and yet they are still highly successful.

If you believe that your teen will not be successful due to their procrastinating ways, what do your think your teen will believe about themselves?

Truth #4 There Could be Countless Reasons Why Your Teen Procrastinates

Reasons behind procrastination can range from, “It’s just part of being human,” to “Procrastination is your teen’s way of rebelling or controlling an aspect of their life.”

As a parent, as much as we want to understand the why behind our teen’s procrastination, this is something that we may never truly understand or control.

But, one thing that you CAN control is what you chose to think about your teen and their procrastinating ways.

Simply understanding that it is part of being human can eliminate the judgement and frustration.

Thinking that they are doing their best can help you to understand and empathize with your teen.

Truth #5 Procrastination is Simply a Coping Tool, Often with Benefits

The bottom line is that procrastination is simply a coping tool that many people use to manage stress and overwhelming tasks. Yes, there are times that your teen will suffer the consequences of procrastination, but there will also be times where they reap the rewards of procrastination.

Let them experience the negative consequences that accompany procrastination, help them see how their life could be improved without procrastinating, and them let them chose whether or not to change.

What Your Teen Will Learn in this Masterclass!

  1. How to separate facts from thoughts
    • Thoughts like “I’m not smart enough,” or “I can’t do this” will hold you back in your efforts.
    • Facts like “Test on Thursday,” are manageable when we are in control of our thoughts.
  2. Managing emotions
    • It’s okay to feel overwhelmed and bored when you understand how to process them.
    • Emotions are less unpleasant when we manage them.
    • Our emotions don’t manage us when we manage them.
  3. How to create homework protocols
    • Create a simple plan for the time between school and bed.
    • This plan will empower you to both get things done and do the things you want.
    • This will empower you for doing hard things as an adult.
  4. How to motivate yourself
    • No one can motivate you but YOU!
    • What you choose to think and believe will create your motivation or lack of motivation.
  5. What to do when you’ve fallen off the wagon
    • Too many times when we fall off the wagon, we choose to give up.
    • There are ways to use past mistakes to empower you.
    • It’s never too late to get back in the driver’s seat.

Call to ACTION!

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