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How to Make Your Kids Do Homework

(Without Having a Nervous Breakdown Yourself)

Tired of arguing, nagging, and struggling with your kids to get them to do homework? Are you discovering that bribing, threatening, and punishing don’t yield positive results? If so, this article is for you. Here you will find the three laws of homework along with eight homework tips that — if implemented in your home with consistency and an open heart — will reduce study time hassles significantly.

The First Law of Homework: Most children do not like to do homework.

Kids do not enjoy sitting and studying, at least not after having spent a long school day comprised mostly of sitting and studying. So give up your desire to have your child like it. Focus on getting him or her to do it.

The Second Law of Homework: You cannot make your child do it.

You cannot make your child learn. You cannot make your child hold a certain attitude. You cannot make your child move his or her pencil.

While you cannot insist, you can assist. Concentrate on assisting by sending positive invitations. Invite and encourage your child using the ideas that follow.

The Third Law of Homework: It’s your child’s problem.

Your child’s pencil has to move. His or her brain needs to engage. Your child’s bottom needs to be in the chair. It is your child’s report card that he or she brings home.

Too many parents see homework as their own problem. So they create ultimatums, scream and shout, threaten, bribe, scold, and withhold privileges. Have you noticed that most of these tactics don’t work?

The parent’s responsibility is to provide his or her child with an opportunity to do homework. The parent’s job is to provide structure, to create the system. The child’s job is to use the system.

Tip #1

Eliminate the word “homework” from your vocabulary. Replace it with the word “study.” Have “study” time instead of “homework” time. Have a “study” table instead of a “homework” table. This word change alone will go a long way toward eliminating the problem of your child saying, “I don’t have any homework.” Study time is about studying, even if your child doesn’t have any homework. It’s amazing how much more homework kids have when they have to study regardless of whether they have homework or not.

Tip #2

Establish a study routine. This needs to be the same time every day. Let your child have some input on when study time occurs. Once the time is set, stick to that schedule. Kids thrive on structure even as they protest. It may take several seeks for the routine to become a habit. Persist. By having a regular study time, you are demonstrating that you value education.

Tip #3

Keep the routine predictable and simple. One possibility includes a five-minute warning that study time is approaching, bringing your child’s current activity to an end, clearing the study table, emptying the backpack of books and supplies, and then beginning.

Tip #4

Allow your child to make choices about homework and related issues. He or she can choose to do study time before or after dinner or immediately after getting home. Or your child may choose to wake up early in the morning to do it. Invite your child to choose the kitchen table or a spot in his or her own room. One choice your child does not have is whether or not to study.

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