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4 Reasons Why Tweens Procrastinate

They're distracted. You've asked your kid ten times to set the table, but she's still chatting with her BFF. Tweens are trying to assert their independence, so they focus all their energy on their friends. To get her to do what needs to be done, devise a schedule that has built-in time for socializing, says Kimberly McClanahan, Ph.D., a Lexington, KY, psychologist. (Just be prepared to issue "Time to get off the computer!" reminders.)

They're overwhelmed. Doing well in school and sports and cleaning their rooms is a lot to handle. Break big jobs into smaller parts, like having her put away her clothes one day and organize her desk the next.

They fear failure. When they were little kids, everything was new and making mistakes wasn't a huge deal. Now they're afraid getting something wrong will mean they're not as self-sufficient as they think. Reassure your kid that you care more about her containing the chaos in her room than keeping it spotless.

They lack motivation. Give her concrete incentives every now and then: She gets an extra half hour on the computer if she finishes her work. And don't forget the praise when she does the right thing!