Homework is a major point of contention for many parents and their kids alike. While kids argue that they’ve already worked so hard in school and would rather spend the evening playing, we as parents worry that they may not be getting enough revision. What makes it harder is that both perspectives hold weight! How do we cross the daily landmine that is the homework?
1. DO NOT Force It On The Child:
This is one of those tips that’s easier said than done. After all, who on earth will willingly get to work without being forced to do so? Children have an innate sense of independence that prevents them from doing things which are imposed on them. 'Do your homework' won't work as well as pointing out how interesting the day's lesson was, asking them fun questions about it, etc. Make them think that doing homework was their own idea. Try highlighting how much fun it could be from a young age and let them fall in line themselves.
2. DO Praise And Appreciate:
When your kid finally gets down to his homework and finishes it all by himself, appreciate the effort he’s made. Tell him stories of people who worked hard in their lives and succeeded. Let him know that even as an adult, you are still learning every day. Gently highlight the progress in class he’s been making ever since he started doing homework consistently.
3. DO NOT Incentivise The Process:
Research on children has shown that when you offer incentives to a child to do something, you’ll have to keep offering them forever if their interest is to be sustained. Don’t offer a bowl of ice cream or an hour of Doraemon once homework is done. Basically, don’t promise a fun activity after homework; let homework be the fun activity. Do this from a very young age. Encourage your kid to take a genuine interest in class activities and projects.
4. DO Have Similar Expectations:
As parents, we have a very different perspective on homework when compared to our kids. But try and remember that we were exactly the same when we were their age. Try and see their viewpoint. Let them have their hour or two of fun. Then gently explain to them that homework, too, is an important activity in the day. Tell them that you understand and appreciate the time they take out for themselves, but that you also expect them to take some time out for what is good for them.
As with everything involving kids, consistency is key. There will be days when you’ll be completely frustrated with their lack of interest in homework. When such a situation arises, try and remember that shouting will only serve as negative reinforcement and will encourage your kid to be more complacent. Keep patience and you will soon see your child taking an interest in his education.