By Dr. Kim Logan-Nowlin & Arthur E. Nowlin, LMSW, CAADC
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This article was written by Dr. Kim and Arthur Nowlin for Message Magazine : Drama Files
Clinton and Rebecca scheduled an appointment to find some assistance with procrastination within their marriage and household. They have been married seven years and have a daughter Ashley who is five years old.
During the five years since Ashley’s birth the concern surrounding procrastination has become worse. The couple stated they never argued in front of Ashley but it was becoming very frustrating to communicate to one another about their weakness in this area. They became very busy and overwhelmed and began to neglect the duties of the household and being a positive role model for Ashley.
They first began noticing Ashley would leave her toys out and not make her bed and when she was finished eating, she would get up from the table, leave her plate, and not wipe her area or push her chair to the table. How did Ashley learn this behavior? It was by watching her parents do the same thing.
One evening Rebecca called Clinton into their bedroom.
“What do you see?” she asked.
“Mess, and this is nothing but procrastination,” Clinton responded.
That’s when they both felt compelled to reach out and ask for help. They shared with us during the counseling session that their procrastination has now transferred over to Ashley and this concerned them greatly. “We never saw it coming” they actually said. She had become lazy and had excuses for not doing what needed to be done. Clinton stated several times during the session that ” the apples don’t fall far from the tree,” and “she is repeating what she observes in us.”
“We come home and put our things wherever. Don’t pick up behind ourselves, and we constantly put things off.” They now see how their negative behavior has impacted their daughter.
They asked us to assist them in some coping tools in eliminating procrastination and here’s the plan. Maybe it can help in your home.
Tools to assist in eliminating procrastination:
1. Recognize that the behavior can’t be corrected until you are ready to implement the action.
2. Set realistic goals, boundaries and timelines to complete all tasks.
3. Set a red flag line and refuse to cross it. No going back to nonproductive habits.
4. Prioritize what needs to be addressed and then have a checklist ready in place in the elimination category of each task accomplished.
5. Pray about your procrastination and ask God to remove the desire to stay in a standstill modality.
6. Be patient during the transition to transformation in one another.
Clinton and Rebecca continue to make progress and they hold each family member accountable for their personal space and as a household unit. They continue with weekly couple and family counseling sessions.
Over the course of counseling the couple stated their home is organized and more realistic goals have be accomplished for the family. Ashely is now six years old and has become very efficient around the home and keeping up with her belongings. It was suggested by the therapist to make house cleaning and organization fun for Ashley with a small reward of appreciation. She has created her own vision board to maintain her focus. Clinton and Rebecca have taken full responsibility towards appreciating one another, Ashley, and their home.
The counseling process has different dimensions and every person’s needs are different. It is our desire as the change agents to assist our families to trust God and work diligently to receive the positive outcomes that they each desire in order to become healthier and happier.
Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40
The names have been changed to protect the innocent.