Many parents struggle when it comes to getting their kids to complete their homework! For some, homework time becomes a nightmare that some parents don't want to participate in! Well, I recently was interviewed in a podcast show to talk about different strategies parents could use to decrease tantrums! When I talk about strategies, I always prepare parents, that these strategies will take time, and consistency is key!
1. What parents should know about homework?
If your kid is having a hard time doing the homework, I would start to question if your kid understands the homework. When students receive homework, its sole purpose is to keep your kids learned skills on par. When students struggle with homework, I would automatically think this must be a new skill being taught by the teacher, and a new skill should never be sent home for homework. Homework should be a learned skill. For example, reading, and repetition of math problems. Those are activities that keeps those learned skills fresh in your child's mind!
2. Make homework fun.
There are all sorts of ways to make homework fun! For example, you could get some shaving cream out and have your kid write with shaving cream solving math problems, or use finger paint to practice writing letters. Kids can get bored with the old paper pencil ways of completing homework. If you can just be creative, and think of ways your kids could complete their homework, you could possibly reduce the tantrums. Remember, kids love to have adult attention, and they really love it when you play with them, so if you can make homework into a game, you might end up succeeding when it comes to having your kids complete their homework.
3. Don’t get mad or frustrated with your kid.
Have patients, when you start yelling or getting upset with your kid for not doing homework, you start making homework viewed as a bad thing! Your kids could start having anxiety when they see homework, and think to themselves that they will just get in trouble when it is homework time. Remember, you can never punish anyone to be motivated to perform a task. When kids see homework as not fun, more than likely they are not going to want to do their homework.
4. Set a daily schedule.
Just because its summer time, doesn’t mean you as a parent can’t add homework to your kids daily schedule. Practicing learned skills, such as reading every day is actually good for your kids. If you keep your kid on a daily routine for completing homework, it becomes a home expectation. It also teaches your kid, that you value education. Now, don’t go watch tv and tell your kid to go read a book, you might want to make homework time a time for everyone including you to do some homework. Read a book, model to your kids that homework time is also for the adults in the home as well.
5. Reinforce your kids for completing their homework, we all know kids like to stay up a little later than usual, so why not give them a chance to earn an extra 15 min to stay up for completing their homework! The best way is to have a list of reinforcements your kid would like to earn for completing their homework on time. When you have highly motivating reinforcements you can use, you can also use consequences that take the place of you getting mad. You can use loss of time, or not earning a desired activity. Just remember, if you are going to add a token economy to your homework procedures, talk with your child’s teacher to keep them in the loop. If your kid doesn’t get their home work done, your kids teacher will know about it, and understand you are working on behavior change at the house. Your child’s teacher may even be able to help you out when it comes to figuring out ways to fix the dreaded homework problem.
6. Don’t use threats like, just wait until your dad hears about this!
When you tell your kid, that you are going to tell their father, or vice versa tell their mother or whoever you think will be a threat, what you are actually doing is giving your power away. You don’t want to do that. What you are saying to your child is that you can’t make your child do anything, but their father or mother can. Never give up your power, you want to be able to carry out the process of having your kid get their homework done. If you are always telling your kid, wait until your father or mother comes home, you are actually telling your child I don’t know how to deal with you, but your father or mother does, and when you try to get your kid to do other activities besides homework, your kid may not listen to you, because he or she doesn’t see you as the person who is the final decision maker. Remember discipline needs to be a team approach! Kids are very smart, and if you and your significant other are not on the same team, your kids will take advantage of you to get what they want!
Blog by Josh Ruse
Podcast: Classroom Success 101