If you have a defiant child, homework time is probably one of your most dreaded times of the day. Homework can be an all-out war of wills between you and your child.
Encouraging your child to take school seriously and give to his all can be accomplished, but it takes an honest and consistent effort on your part as well.
In this post, I will cover a few tips on how to make homework time more bearable for you and your child.
First, as with all other parenting and discipline strategies, consistency is key. If any parenting technique has a chance of working, it must be done consistently to teach your child that you are not going to give in, no matter how much begging, pleading, or crying your child puts you through.
A simple way to start providing consistency is by using a Homework Chart. For younger children, a simple homework chart can be used to encourage your child to simply finish his work.
Each night you should make time to sit down with your child and go over any assignments he may have had. If all of the work is finished, you can praise your child and then put a sticker on the Homework Chart.
This is generally an exciting way to get younger children in the habit of getting their work done. And it is also a good way for you to get in the habit of spending time with your child to let him know that you care about his success and will be consistent with following up on school work to be sure it is done.
For older children, a great tool to use is a Homework Planner. A simple one page Homework Planner is a great way for older children to write down homework for the day and then check it off when it is completed. Many schools provide some type of planner to each student at the beginning of the year.
Again, it is important for you to spend some time each evening going over the planner to show your child you are going to be involved and will consistently check to see if daily assignments are completed.
Also, most children do best with routines.
With after school activities and other responsibilities, it is sometimes hard to make time for a regular homework time. Often an assignment may get put off until right before bed or even until during breakfast the next morning. This lack of routine when it comes to doing homework only adds to the frustration and stress levels for both you and your child.
A good recommendation on how to make homework time more bearable is to pick a time that seems to work on most days. Obviously all families have things that come up that cannot be avoided. But in general it is best to pick a time that works on a day to day basis and designate this as your child’s “homework time.”
It is also good to allow your child to engage in some type of physical activity before he sits down to do his homework. Immediately after school may seem like a good choice but actually may not be the best for continued success. For the best long term success, allow your child to get outside and play for a while before sitting down to do his work.
Picking a certain place for your child to do his work is also a smart choice. Using a designated place for homework promotes consistency. A spot that is quiet and free from distractions is best.
For example, having your child sit down in the living room with the television on to do his homework is a set up for failure. Too many distractions (other children playing, mom or dad talking on the phone, television going, etc.) make it almost impossible for your child to pay attention to a task that he may already be trying to avoid.
Homework time with a defiant child doesn’t have to be a daily battle. You can make homework time more bearable by implementing these simple steps. And hopefully it will be a more pleasant experience for both of you.
If you’re still struggling to make this happen, check out our Defeat Defiance guide to finally have a loving relationship with your child and a happy home.