As a therapist helping teenagers with anxiety, there’s one thing I run into over and over again: Procrastination.
Everyone does it from time to time. If you find yourself stuck in a cycle of putting things off over and over again, it can become a problem.
What is the main cause of procrastination?
At the heart of procrastination is avoidance.
Many people want to avoid feeling anxious, overwhelmed, or scared. These feelings can be painful or unpleasant.
If homework gives you anxiety, you might avoid doing homework in order to avoid feeling anxious.
Why is procrastination bad?
Procrastination can become a problem when avoidance becomes the go-to method of dealing with unpleasant feelings.
In order to graduate high school, you have to do homework. In order to do homework, you have to figure out how to cope with anxiety.
The more you put off doing something, the scarier it feels. If you’ve put off a project for weeks, it’ll seem like this gigantic task that you might never accomplish. This means that when you finally complete the project, you’ll feel more anxious than if you hadn’t avoided it.
How to get a teenager to stop procrastinating?
If you’re a parent, how can you help your teenager to stop procrastinating?
Understanding what’s driving it is the first step.
Procrastination IS NOT laziness.
Understanding that anxiety is the main driver can help you support, not punish, your child.
Check out the (instagram-friendly) guide below for some action tips!
Therapy for anxiety in teenagers
Being a teen is hard! Vered Counseling offers therapy for teenage depression and anxiety in Texas and North Carolina.
Check out more of our articles on teenage depression and anxiety, including:
Being a teen is hard, but it doesn’t have to suck forever.