Helping a Child with Procrastination when Homework Takes Forever

Hi Dr. Laura! Just love you!

I was wondering on what you would advise on parenting an 11 year who I suspect may have a mild form of ADHD. He is no problem at school and the teacher doesn't think he has it but we notice as does she that even though he is extremely bright and gets very good grades it takes him forever to get things done. He gets distracted and is the last to finish at school and homework takes all night at home. We follow your practice and do not believe in physical punishment. I even make weekly checklists to use with a timer but he forgets all about the checklist or timer. As a full time mom, I feel like a HUMAN CHECKLIST. He is a very lovable child and caring and courteous but this procrastination and distraction are killing his dad and myself. He is a typical absentminded professor! Any advice? Much appreciated!



Sounds to me like issues with executive functioning, which includes time management, planning, organizing and focus. These are skills that come naturally to many kids but others need to learn them. This is something you want to address immediately or the homework load in high school will demoralize him and he'll stop trying.

This article has a good description of what I mean by executive function.

I highly recommend the book Late, Lost, and Unprepared: A Parents' Guide to Helping Children with Executive Functioning to help you help your son to learn the skills he needs. Good luck!

Dr. Laura

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My son said to me one day "pinky swear you won't yell anymore?" That broke my heart and made me realize that yelling only hurts everyone. Doesn't mean I am perfect, but it was a good reminder!