Do you dread the start of school because you know the homework battle will resume?
Many parents talk about how stressful it is to get their kids to do homework. The scene becomes the parents nagging and begging for their child to get it done and ends in anger, frustration and disappointment for both the parent and child.
Whether you believe homework is pointless or that it is essential to get ahead in life, the fact remains it is a requirement of many elementary schools today. It can be used as a way for our children to learn resilience, time management, and the correct attitudes needed to be successful in life.
Let’s talk about ways to turn those tears and anxiety into a more positive learning experience and get rid of the homework battle.
1) Give your child ownership over their homework
We all want our children to get good grades. However when it comes to homework you need to realize that it is your child’s job to figure it out. As a parent we provide the when and where for homework, but the rest is in our child’s court.
If you are working harder than your child, take a step back and hand the ownership back to them. It is better that they struggle now and learn how to solve their own problems when the cost is low and they have you to help them.
2) Set the environment by being a role model
When doing homework you can end up hovering, anticipating your child’s need for help. Instead, think of this homework time as a place for both of you to work side by side. Sit down at the table and answer emails, cook dinner, or pay bills. This not only keeps you productive but also sets and example. It allows them to feel relaxed yet supported as you both work together.
3) Give your child choices
Giving your child choices can make them feel empowered. Asking things like “Do you want to do homework before or after dinner?” “Would you like to do your homework on the table one on the couch?” “Would you like to eat your snack while doing it or after?” Remember to only present choices that you are okay with both options. These little choices can go a long way to helping homework time be happier.
4) Keep Tabs on Your Attitude and Mindset
If homework time is going poorly, it might be best to step back and examine your attitude. Are you feeling rushed? Are you putting pressure on them to get it all right? Are you taking on the ownership? If you find your mindset is getting in the way, remedy it by asking your child how you can better support them for homework time. You will be amazed by their insight.
5) Be Encouraging
It is hard to be at school all day and then have to sit down to homework. Being empathetic to how they feel and then offering words of encouragement can help so much. It can be easy to fall into the criticism trap. Always lead with encouraging the process first. “Wow, you have been putting so much effort into figuring out that math problem.” or “I am proud of how you finished that yourself.”
The homework battle doesn’t have to win in your house! Instead it is a time for you both to learn the lessons of life together. Best wishes on another great school year!