Not now maybe later book cover

Great Potential Press
Paperback | 448 Pages
ISBN: 978-1935067269
CAD $22.95


This book is written for parents and teachers as a guide to understanding procrastination, primarily in children, and to provide tips for helping children develop skills to improve their productivity. Procrastination relates to many important aspects of life, including success and failure, school-related and other activities, an individual’s thoughts and feelings, and motivation. Not Now, Maybe Later provides lots of straight-forward strategies to use (now, not later).

Book Reviews


Procrastination is everywhere, like kudzu and athlete’s foot, and, as Joanne Foster makes clear in this original and thoroughly readable book, it’s not always unjustified. But helping parents and other care-givers understand why kids engage in it, and what grownups can do to mitigate it, makes for a terrific addition to the shelf of child-rearing counsel. May we adults not procrastinate in following it!

Chester E. Finn, Jr.Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University; Former United States Assistant Secretary of Education

Most people who are capable of excellence don’t realize what’s possible because their procrastination, perfectionism, and fear of failure constantly gets in the way of action and performance. Not Now, Maybe Later is a wonderful resource for parents, teachers, managers, and yourself. Don’t procrastinate another moment and learn various strategies to get the best out of yourself and others.

Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D.Author of Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined; co-founder of The Creativity Post; Scientific Director of Imagination Institute, University of Pennsylvania

Joanne Foster has written a parent-friendly text to help take us into the delaying, and sometimes delivering mind of the procrastinating child or teen—who just went to the web or found some other way to put things off because the Procrastinators Club meeting was postponed. Don’t delay—get a copy ASAP! You’ll enjoy it!

Michael Shaughnessy, Ph.D.Editor, Gifted Education International, Senior Editor, Education News

In her lively, engaging style, Dr. Foster points out we all procrastinate–some more than others, in different ways, and at different times. This book offers parents and their children positive, practical insights on procrastination, what it feels like, where it comes from and how to work through it. It’s a valuable resource to those challenged by procrastination or just curious about it.

Lannie KanevskyAssociate Professor, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University

Foster takes a broader view of the topic, asking whether procrastination is a way of being or a way of doing, and affirming that there are sometimes good reasons to put things off. She shows how the strategies and ideas in Not Now, Maybe Later apply to adults as well as kids, describing the benefits for children when their parents work on their own procrastination habits, and share their progress and setbacks with their kids. Illustrated throughout with thoughtful quotes, helpful checklists, and extensive lists of ‘Do’s’ and ‘Don’ts.

Dona Matthews, Ph.D.Educational consultant, award-winning author, columnist Psychology Today

Excellent and much needed resource and highly timely for multiple exciting reasons….Time management is a critical skill that benefits from quality information and dynamic education. Not Now, Maybe Later delivers both, establishing Joanne Foster as a premier Life Skills coach for modern parents. If you are one of the millions of modern day homes in which time management is a source of stress, Not Now, Maybe Later is the solution!

Marlaine CoverSocial Entrepreneur and Founder, Parenting 2.0

Joanne Foster has put procrastination in its place! Her fascinating and unique presentation of the myriad causes and solutions of this common habit gives parents all the tools they need to help themselves and their kids overcome it once and for all. This is a book every parent will want to read!

Sarah Chana Radcliffe, M.Ed.Author: The Fear Fix and Raise Your Kids without Raising Your Voice
Table of Contents

Table of Contents


  • The focus of the book—and why people should not procrastinate reading it

Chapter 1. Is Procrastination a Way of Being or a Way of Doing?

  • Reasons for procrastination
  • Checklist – Procrastination thought probes

Chapter 2. Procrastination: To Do or Not to Do

  • About procrastination: What is it? Who does it? Why and When?
  • Procrastination personas

Chapter 3. Some Ties That Bind

  • About success
  • About failure
  • About stress
  • About self-regulation

Chapter 4. Procrastination and Child Development: Bridging Age Brackets among Young Children

  • Toddlers
  • Early childhood

Chapter 5. Procrastination and Child Development: Bridging Age Brackets among Older Children

  • Tweens
  • Adolescents

Chapter 6. School Daze and Procrastination

  • Struggling – Supporting stragglers
  • Average → Bright – Activating avoiders and busting buts
  • Gifted – Smart beginnings

Chapter 7. Procrastination and Perfectionism

  • Expectations
  • Feeling overwhelmed or concerned
  • Positivity

Chapter 8. Can and Able—or Not?

  • About potential
  • Preferences
  • Making changes and taking risks

Chapter 9. Children’s Daily Avoidance

  • Little worries? Big worries?
  • Messiness! Chores! Homework!
  • A “head” start
  • Goal-setting

Chapter 10. The Five “M”s

  • Mastery orientation: Challenge!
  • Mindset: The effect of effort on accomplishment and ability
  • Metacognitive capacities: The importance of being reflective
  • Motivation: Intentions, interest, goal-setting, and personal progress
  • Meaningful relationships: What matters most?

Chapter 11. Thinking It Through and Resources, Too

  • More practical strategies
  • Success stories and tips from those in the know
  • Directions for future reference

About the Author


Not Now, Maybe Later: Helping Children Overcome Procrastination.
A Few Excerpts from the Book

It’s important to try to understand why a person is procrastinating. Being too quick to label someone a procrastinator can further impede his productivity, erode his self-confidence, make him feel less capable, and even devalue his accomplishments. It may make more sense to think of procrastination not as a way out but rather a way around, or another way altogether.
(Chapter 2)

Remember, too, children are all different; some prefer to accomplish tasks quickly and others slowly with ample dawdling. Some children are more productive in the morning; others feel more inclined to see things through in the afternoon or evening. Or tomorrow. Some may be feeling discouraged, overwhelmed, or rebellious. The key is to recognize and pay careful attention to children’s attitudes, influences, preferences, skills, and behaviors. (Chapter 4)

Procrastination can simply be a way for a child to protect herself from doing something that she believes threatens her sense of well-being or possibly makes her feel burdened and uncomfortable. Procrastination frees up time to think things through. It can be a self-help mechanism that, for some people, provides a measure of containment or control. By modifying the timing and pace of their actions they may feel calmer, and this may be beneficial, especially if things around them seem to be spinning out of control. (Chapter 3)

How a child fares, and his sense of self, depends on a combination of factors such as previous experiences, feedback from parents and caregivers, and developmental maturity. Children thrive best when given some autonomy within the context of a relaxed but safe and appropriately controlled environment. (Chapter 4)

Teach children to be respectfully assertive, discerning, and fair-minded. Help them recognize their individual learning needs. Talk with them about how to advocate for themselves and how their own attitudes and behavior can contribute to their problems—or advancement… (Chapter 6)

Back Cover

Not now maybe later back cover

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