Parenting Strategies for Children Struggling with Homework

School-aged children are facing their first exposure to the concept of a job. They have to show up at school every day, do what’s asked of them, and finish work at home for the next day. While it may be their first job, it’s not for you. You’re well-versed in the concept, but the job that you now have is new: getting them to do their homework.

This can be a tricky road to walk, so if you’re in need of a few tips, tricks, and tech tools to get your child to happily do their homework every day, here are a few of our favorites.

Family Matters, a subcommittee of Partners for Prevention in Allegany County, provides support and tools to help parents raise responsible children and to help foster healthy relationships in families. Visit our website and Facebook page for more information.

Set Up Their “Office”

Who can get work done without a clean, organized space to do so? Make sure your child has a designated homework space where they don’t have to compete for the chance to get their work done. A well-lit section of the kitchen table, or a desk in their room, or even a corner of the living room (if they are not distracted by others) are all good options you can manage in your home. Scholastic recommends showing them how to organize their space and to keep it that way, as it’s a practical set of skills that can be carried into adulthood.

Provide the Tools

Nobody can work effectively without the right equipment, and your kids are no different. In this day and age, children use technology to cover the majority of their tools. Just like in adult workplaces, when a machine is clunky, outdated, or just slow, it becomes frustrating to operate.

Thankfully, there are plenty of options available for families, such as an iPad or Kindle Fire. With generous displays and computer-like speed and power, these tablets are up to snuff for schoolwork, surfing, and games. They’re also lightweight, portable choices that are both fun and practical, and parents can take advantage of parental controls to ensure kids don’t get too carried away in their use.

If you decide to buy a new device for your family, keep in mind that it can sustain damage from falls, dents, dings, and spills without proper care. Make sure you outfit your device with a good-quality case to reduce such worrisome incidents.

Hold Them Accountable

Just like a real job, your child needs to be responsible for his or her own work. It can be easy for involved parents to cross the line into being too involved in their child’s schoolwork, to the point that they just do the work for them. This is a terrible habit to get into, as it leads to lazy and unproductive kids. Be supportive and make yourself available to answer questions during homework time, but be sure that your child is doing the bulk of the work themselves.

Be Understanding of Sick Days

Sometimes we don’t feel our best, and that’s okay! Remember that your child is just that – a child. If they’re not feeling well, vocalize to them that it’s okay to not feel 100%, but we still need to get our work done. Tell them about a time you had to finish something at work while you weren’t feeling the best.

Kids pick up your habits, so as HealthyPsych points out, they will learn through you that this is just a part of life. Homework may be the last thing they want to do when they’re feeling down, but help them to push through and they’ll feel rewarded for accomplishing something they didn’t think they could.

While this “work-life” may be a new thing to your child, don’t go too hard on them. Be understanding and supportive, so they know they can come to you with questions and struggles they encounter along the way. Help them, and provide them with the tools and resources they need, but don’t overshadow the work they’re doing themselves.

By Emily Graham of Mighty Moms.

Remember Prevention Works.

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