At the beginning of each school year almost all parents face the problem with their children’s homework. For kids it’s a real torture to sit down, put away all their gadgets, take a book and spend endless time doing this extremely boring and, as they think, completely unnecessary tasks. And that is when the parent-child homework battle begins. Parents have already forgotten how horrifying the homework can be. It hunts you down, squeezes the life out of you, and drives you to the edge. That is exactly how kids see it. A lot of parents treat this conflict as something unavoidable in their parenting duties. They put too many thoughts to it and too much pressure on kids without thinking about consequences that are inevitable. It leads to a vicious circle of constant nagging from parents and total refusal by children. Not only does it not bring any improvements in child’s school performance, but also may discourage him from doing it at all. If the child has some difficulties in completing his assignments, parents may immediately label him as “lazy”. That is the most common mistake made by a lot of frustrated parents. The child may be confused, discouraged, uninitiative, disorganized, lost - but these are not synonyms to “lazy”. For children dealing with homework is like walking with twisted ankle – painful, but possible; still they try to find the way to alleviate this process.
Plan is the only rescue
There are no winners or losers in this battle. Only compromises can save parents’ nerves and child’s attitude to homework. Every child has different brain abilities. If he lacks focus, has problems with reading or doesn’t have good memory, it doesn’t mean that he is destined to spend the rest of his life with homework. Instead of constant aggression and lecturing, parents should put their ardour in the right direction. It would be useful and helpful to analyze all problems and issues and come up with some plan which will be suitable for the child. There is no universal plan due to the fact that each kid is unique and has his individual abilities. That is why parents should put all their efforts in creating that perfect and inimitable plan. There are some tips which should be taken in consideration and may come in handy while working on this plan of reducing the homework battle:
- Decide when the homework time should be– an hour in the evening or time before dinner (afternoon right after school is not the best time because the child needs to release tension at classes and recharge his batteries).
- Set the time limits – approximately 30-40 minutes for one assignment. This will stimulate the child and somehow enclose him from distraction.
- Firstly, do easy tasks that your child is good at. This will encourage him and save energy for more difficult ones.
- Praise the kid not for his inborn abilities, but for his efforts.
- Avoid the language of threats (“ If you don’t finish, you won’t go out” ) and use language of opportunities (“ When you finish your homework, you will go out”).
- Give your child some fruits or delicious snacks while he is captured by home tasks. It will cheer him up.
- Be a helper, but don’t interfere in the process. Give your kid a chance to do it on his own, but be near when he asks for help.
- Boost his self-esteem. Make notes of his improvements. The child also should see his own development.
- Don’t do everything at one time. If the assignment is not due tomorrow – postpone it, but don’t forget about it.
- Have a positive attitude. This will help to make the learning process easier.
These are some basic steps to help you and your child to turn the homework into an enjoyable process.
Some efforts today will keep the frustration with homework away
If you show your child how to cope with all his school duties, he will definitely bare a fruit from it in the future. It will teach him how to manage time effectively, organize his tasks; and he will be aware of the fact that there are no impossible things if you know the correct approach how to do them. Don’t be afraid to take part in this process; your child needs help and he should know that he can always rely on you. Show that the homework isn’t a scary monster and you can make friends with him. Otherwise, your child may lose interest in studying at all and it could lead to more difficult problems in the future, such as skipping classes, procrastination, problems with time management and hidden offence at his parents. That is why always keep an eye on him, but don’t be another teacher at home: he has enough of them at school. Good luck!