Q:

I'll admit that there is a tendency to procrastinate in our family. Our son is a prime example of this. He puts off and puts off starting his homework every night. Many nights he procrastinates so much that he doesn't have enough time to finish his homework. Is there any way to cure or at least improve his tendency to procrastinate? -- Delays Starting

A:

For many families, a homework contract resolves a lot of homework problems. The agreement between parent and child can state a specific time for starting homework. Both must talk over the terms and agree to them. In certain cases, it may be helpful to have rewards and/or penalties to incentivize the child to follow the terms of the contract. You should look at our contract on

dearteacher.com. It is found under Skill Builders/Study Skills.

Besides using a contract, the tendency to procrastinate can be reduced by having you and your child looking over his homework at the start of a homework session as defined on the contract. Then together you can decide which assignment will be the easiest to do. Starting on the easiest assignment will reduce your son's reluctance to start his homework. Plus, you can further push your son to start his homework by not letting him do anything else before his homework is completed.