We thought doing homework was difficult before, but during the coronavirus things have become exponentially more difficult.
With limited outlets for our children and a whole new school routine that involves mom telling them one more thing to do, getting our children to care about completing a math assignment is like trying to get me to care about social media drama.
And while I may never crave the nuances of tiffs between two near strangers, there are ways to motivate your child to have a healthy relationship with subtraction and multiplication.
1. Keep things positive
Getting a sarcastic remark or rolling of the eyes makes us parents want to respond with consequences for poor behavior or a speech about how we would never dream of responding in such a way to our parents (although we all know we have).
Problem is, responding this way gets the whole family sucked into a vortex of negativity that only a super hero can remove you from.
Empowering Parents reminds us that “your child is not behaving this way on purpose to make your life miserable.”
Being frustrated and anxious about helping a rebellious child with homework is completely understandable, but it is important to remain a positive role model for how to manage emotions.
Oftentimes, a child will refuse to do their homework if they feel it is too difficult, or they are tired or hungry.
Good attitudes are contagious, so when we work through the problem with one, the child is bound to eventually catch one.
2. Remind them them the fun in completing their work
When your child says, “I am not doing my homework!”, try relaying the pros of finishing the assignment, such as “Let’s work together to get this done so we have time to go outside and ride bikes afterward.”
Delayed gratification is a life lesson that we all must learn. Adults do it everyday when we have to wait to get paid at the end of the week while still working everyday.
Following through with the “when you” rule is vital, or else the whole things falls apart.
There is no motivation to complete an assignment in order to play with friends if you end up letting them run outside just because you both were too exhausted to finish the task.
3. Give your child structure
Kids thrive with some structure. Knowing what to expect and when to expect it is comforting.
Think about if you had to work whenever your boss called, with no scheduled time or place, just being on-call 24-7.
Kids do need free play to build creativity and critical thinking skills, as Mommy Underground has previously reported, but knowing when that time is coming is critical.
Have a set time for assignments so there are no surprises and you can encourage your child to work on good time management to work on the activities they are looking forward to.
4. Have a study nook
Precious time can be wasted gathering books and finding a spot that is quiet and out of the way to complete homework.
Have a designated study spot where children can focus on their assignments without the mental energy of finding a place that works for them.
Some kids like to be around others to feel safe, others like to be alone in peace. Find out what works best for your child and do what you can to cater to their study style.
5. Set manageable goals
A three page paper or trying to learn division can seem daunting to an elementary school student.
Sometimes all your child needs to get motivated is to know he or she is able to complete the task before they can drive.
A few options you can try are to set a timer to break the assignment up into 15 minute blocks, only cover half the amount of subjects in a day so you aren’t jumping around a lot, or make a game out of the assignment to allow your child to ease tension about a tough task.
Learning should be fun, not a daily struggle of wills.
There is no reason both the parent and the child can’t be empowered by making a collaborative plan for homework success using these effective motivational tools.
(h/t Mommy Underground)