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Guide 2 Parenting   >   Homework

Getting How Done

Does homework cause both you and your child stress every time that it needs to be done? Do you fight yourself in a battle whenever you try to get your child to do his homework?

You are not alone.

Getting a child to do his homework is a skill that parents need to learn. Like most skills, you aren't just born with it you need to acquire it and that can take some effort, and perhaps a change of perspective.

So how can you help your son or daughter to make the most out of their homework assignments, and in a positive manner?
  • Don't make it a job!

    If you are making homework into a chore or a job for the child then stop now! Nobody likes to think of something as a job, especially young kids. Children will not respond well to something, if you start by teaching them that it is an unpleasant and cumbersome project.

  • Don't stick to the same old failing approach!

    It's not unusual to suffer fear and frustration about your child's homework. But that does not mean that you should keep trying the same old approach, when you have overwhelming proof that your methods are failing

    Think about it for a minute.

    If forcing kids to do their homework was at all effective, then we would not have so many discouraged children dropping out of high school We would not have so many kids growing up with poor self-esteem and not getting the college education that they should have.
So what should you do?

Here are 3 suggestions that will help you plan ahead, and get your child back on the right track when it comes to doing homework:
  1. Create a routine

    Set up a daily routine schedule of when your child is to do his homework. Do not deviate from this routine at all. During this period, television and radio should be turned off. Over time, your child will become more accepting of doing his homework when he knows that it must be done at a specific time each day.

  2. Give your child help but don't take over

    As a responsible parent, of course you want to help your child, including by tutoring them. But remember, it is a fine line between being helpful and being too overbearing and corrective.

    You should give your child a choice of whether they want your help or not. You should also give them a choice about whether they want you to correct the homework papers or not.

    After some time goes by, you will probably find that they will start coming to you for help, asking for advice, wanting you to double check their work. You should also hopefully find that when homework is their responsibility, they act more responsibly.

  3. Listen

    You need to listen to what your child has to say.

    You will probably find that most homework stress and arguments occur at the beginning of the session, making it very difficult to get the homework started. So, if your child starts complaining right away at beginning an assignment then instead of debating the issue, try listening very empathetically for once. This can help release tension, and thus help your child begin their assigned homework.

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