Kids often procrastinate for the simple reason that they have different priorities than we do. So if your son's must-do list includes beating his brother's video-game score and doodling dragons on his notebook, studying spelling words and writing birthday thank-you notes are not going to get done without your involvement.
How you can help: Forget about making your child want to do the more important task. Things like good grades and manners are abstract concepts to school-age kids, and no amount of nagging is going to change that. Instead, move the task up on your child's priority list by connecting it to a privilege he values, suggests George M. Kapalka, PhD, author of Parenting Your Out-of-Control Child. For example, if you allow TV and video games only after the day's homework is completed, your child will learn that privileges come with responsible behavior.