Mastering Your ADD/ADHD Student’s Procrastination, part 1

This is a 3-part series on how you can support your ADD/ADHD child.

The Challenge that Comes with ADD/ADHD

Let’s face it: Parenting a child with ADD/ADHD can be a roller coaster ride of emotions, challenges, and frustrations. One particular hurdle is overcoming procrastination. You’ve tried almost everything—strict timetables, gentle nudges, even bribes—but nothing seems to stick. If you’re tearing your hair out trying to help your child with their study skills and time management, this blog post is for you.

Understanding ADD/ADHD and Procrastination: The Connection

Before diving into solutions, it’s crucial to understand why procrastination is such a common trait among children with ADD/ADHD. These kids are not lazy; they often struggle with executive function, which includes skills like organization, planning, and initiating tasks. Difficulty in prioritizing tasks can appear as procrastination, but it’s more complex than that.

Why Traditional Methods Fail

You’ve probably tried traditional methods like to-do lists, or tried policing your child’s schedule minute-by-minute. Unfortunately, such approaches often backfire because they don’t address the underlying issues of motivation and focus, which are vital to improving study skills.

Additionally, as you might have experienced – or will – your child doesn’t want to hear and won’t listen to your suggestions on how to study.

The Importance of Identifying Triggers

Before you can come up with a game plan, identify the triggers that spur your child’s procrastination. Is it an aversion to a specific subject? Is it overwhelming anxiety? Or perhaps it’s an inability to focus? The solution often lies in understanding the problem at its root.

Tailor-made Strategies: One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Your child is unique, and so should be the approach. Generic tips might not be effective.
Your child will benefit from tailored organization strategies based on their learning style, strengths, and challenges.

Break Down Large Tasks

One of the most effective ways to combat procrastination is by breaking large tasks into smaller, manageable ones. This makes the assignment less daunting and helps in fostering a sense of accomplishment. (Please see our blog posts on executive functions)

Use Timers for Structured Breaks

Children with ADD/ADHD find it difficult to focus for extended periods. Using a simple kitchen timer can be a game-changer.

Reward System: A Boost of Motivation

Small rewards after completing tasks can work wonders for motivation. Just make sure the rewards are appropriate for your child’s grade and age, and not counterproductive (like rewarding with extra video game time).

The Role of External Help: Is Tutoring the Answer?

For children with ADD/ADHD, a private tutor specializing in study skills and executive function can provide the one-on-one customized attention they often need. These professionals can tailor their approach to your child’s specific learning style, making the learning experience more engaging and less overwhelming.

Using a private tutor or coach might also remove you from being the homework police. A good tutor will create a safe and encouraging environment for your child while teaching them the skills they need and holding them accountable – so you don’t have to.

A Marathon, Not a Sprint

Mastering procrastination in your ADD/ADHD student is no small feat; it’s a long-term commitment that requires patience, tailored strategies, and sometimes, external help. If you’re a parent looking for a private tutor to enhance your child’s study skills, consider one specializing in ADD/ADHD and executive function. The journey may be long, but remember: the goal is to empower your child to manage their responsibilities, and become an independent learner.


Would your child benefit from a one-on-one teacher and coach to help them get over their procrastination? Our teachers are both nurturing and firm and will teach your student how to start their assignments on time, every time.

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Mastering your ADD/ADHD Student’s Procrastination, part 1