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Chapter 23. Dealing with the Procrastina... > Spouses and Partners - Pg. 250

Dealing with the Procrastinators Around You 250 · Emphasize the "we're-in-this-together" aspect so that the other person doesn't feel ganged up on. · Don't let other baggage from the marriage or relationship muddy the issue. Focus only on spe- cific, current (or recent) behavioral examples. · Don't be overly vigilant about checking for progress after your partner agrees to try to kick the procrastination habit. Because you live together, you're in a position to check up far more often than is healthy for either of you. · Remember that relationships have to be based on some degree of compromise. Try to correct problem behaviors that are dragging you both down, but accept that you have differences and may never approach efficiency the same way. Roommates If your roommate is a slob straight out of a sitcom, try these strategies before giving him or her the boot: · Establish clear ground rules about household chores and other shared responsibilities from the beginning. If you've already lived together a while, it's never too late to do so. Quicksand! If other relatives besides a spouse or children live with you, don't be afraid to stand your ground if they procrastinate. A mother-in-law, sibling, or anyone else who comes into your household should expect to respect the rules of that home. · Don't badmouth your roommate to other roommates or the roommate's friends. · Think about your expectations for the way the household is maintained and be sure you're being realistic. Your idea of a livable environment may not be everybody else's vision. · Don't let your anger or frustration bottle up inside you. Deal with the problem soon after it hap- pens. · Clarify your expectations for how and when household tasks should be done. Just saying, "I wish you'd vacuum more," isn't always specific enough. · Don't be an enabler. If you go around cleaning up roommates' messes, they might not even see the mess they've made. Let them live in their own squalor for a while (if you can stand it) and maybe they'll clean up their act. Then again, their tolerance for squalor might outlive yours, in which case you may have to resort to cleaning it up yourself just to be able to live there. · Remember that roommates are more expendable and easily replaceable than spouses, roman- tic partners, and friends. If you can't live with them, get rid of them. If it's not your place, move out. Children Dealing with your kids' procrastination is tricky. When they say, "I really will do it when I come home from school, Mom," and "Daddy, I just forgot to do it," you can see the procrastination habit sprouting in them and want to nip it in the bud. You want to teach them a sense of responsibility and help instill good habits early on. You also want some sanity in your home life.