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Homework Challenges

Getting your child to do his/her homework can be a real struggle. You can praise him/her when it’s finished, and give him/ her a reward, but wouldn’t it be nice if your child did his/her homework on their own, without your input? You want your child to be self-motivated, not just do things for an external reward. One way to train your child toward that goal is to teach him/her to appreciate their hard work and be proud of it.  Rather than telling him/her, “I like that,” or “Good job,” try saying, “I see you used some new vocabulary words in the paragraph you wrote.  That shows you really know what they mean.”  Or, “I see you are writing your math homework carefully.  I bet you make fewer mistakes that way.”  If you can’t think of something special about what he/she has done, ask him/her what he/she thinks is good about it. He/she will start to look for things that he/she is doing well and take pride in it.  If he/she is discouraged by poor grades, you can still help him/her to be proud of something.  Praise his/her determination.  Try saying, “You are setting a good example for us when we see how hard you try.  When you’re doing something hard, tell me and I’ll do something hard, too.”  “I like how you don’t give up.  For every 30 minutes you work on your math, you can give yourself five minutes of video games.”  Even if he/she is not enjoying his/her homework, he/she will learn to feel good about completing it.


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