Procrastination. We’ve all been guilty of it. Maybe it was that term paper in college or the pile of laundry in the hamper today.

It’s easy to put it all off until tomorrow, even though you should do it today. Kids are just as guilty! Use the upcoming summer break to teach your child about the importance of resisting the temptation to procrastinate, whether it’s the summer reading list, chores or thank you cards.

Life is much easier and less stressful when they meet their responsibilities in a timely manner.

Determine why your child is putting off a task: There are many reasons why people procrastinate, but the most common include the fear of making a mistake and the simple avoidance a difficult or time consuming task.

Talk to your child to find out why they are avoiding the assignment or chore. Does he have the resources he needs? Does he need organizational help? Is there a clear goal in mind? Maybe he simply doesn’t want to load the dishwasher, let’s face it, who does?

Put a get it done plan into action: Determine your child’s most productive time of day. Maybe your child needs a break after a day in school or at summer camp before starting the task at hand. Be clear with our expectations.

If your child doesn’t immediately start his task, make sure he understands why he’s allowed a break and how much time he has before he must begin the task. If the amount of work is overwhelming, help your child map out a step-by-step plan on how he’ll reach his goal.

Maybe it’s a simple as dividing up a big task into several small tasks. Set a timer if necessary to help your child understand they are expected to work for a certain amount of time before taking a break. Encourage your child to share their goal with friends and family-they will be more likely to succeed.

Routine and habits: A consistent schedule will help your child break the cycle of procrastination. Set aside a time each day for chores and/or reading a few chapters of a book on the summer reading list.  Try to avoid procrastination yourself! Our children are always watching and listening.

“Never put off for tomorrow, what you can do today.” ― Aaron Burr
“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” ― Abraham Lincoln
“Procrastinate now, don’t put it off.” ― Ellen DeGeneres
Putting good habits in place today will only benefit your child in the future. Encourage them to write down their priorities and set realistic goals. Remember, procrastination is a learned behavior and so is time management.

By Angela Ardolino of Tampa Bay Parenting,