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Why Does My Child Procrastinate?

a child who likes to procrastinate

Procrastination is one of the most common challenges faced by individuals with ADHD or other neurodiversities. But why is it so prevalent, and what can we do about it?

According to James Clear in "Atomic Habits," procrastination is the action of moving away from an unwanted feeling. This avoidance behavior is something many of us can relate to. For instance, I tend to procrastinate putting away seasonal or holiday decorations. The task is not fun, it's time-consuming, and it feels overwhelming. However, when I know someone is coming to visit, I find it easier to put the decorations away. The accountability of an impending visit shifts my focus and helps me overcome the urge to procrastinate.

Many families share stories of their children procrastinating despite numerous reminders. Parents often worry that their child’s procrastination will lead to failure and the development of bad habits. This worry is understandable and can create a lot of stress for both the family and the child.

Procrastination can have significant effects on neurodivergent students. It can create adrenaline, which can initially motivate them but ultimately becomes a crutch. They might think, "It worked for me last time, so why wouldn’t it work this time?" This reliance on adrenaline becomes a habit, making it challenging to develop healthier strategies for task completion.

There are several reasons why students procrastinate:

  • Seeking a Dopamine Drop: The brain craves the rush that comes with last-minute work.

  • Fear of Failure or Perfectionism: If they feel they can’t achieve near-perfect results, they might avoid starting the task altogether.

  • Uncertainty on Where to Start: Students might know the end goal but feel lost on how to begin.

  • Mental Stamina: Some students struggle with the mental endurance required to complete tasks.

In our next blog post, we will delve into strategies to help overcome procrastination. But for now, it’s crucial to understand the why and recognize the factors at play.

If you see your student struggling with procrastination, don’t hesitate to reach out. Visit to book a call and get the support your child needs.


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