Back to school means lazy days quickly change into stressed-filled afternoons with piles of homework, sports practice and piano lessons. How do we manage it all? How do we get our kids to do their homework without pulling our hair out? Love and Logic® teaches us not to tackle our kids at the door and pepper them with questions about their homework immediately. Give kids a chance to unwind and let them feel like they have some control by giving them a few choices.
- Would you like to do your homework now or get started in 30 minutes?
- Would you rather start with math or spelling?
- Would you like a snack before you begin or while you’re working?
If they can’t make a choice on their own, then it’s time for you to make the decision for them. “Oh, that’s too bad. Well, looks like I’ll have to make this decision for you, let’s start with spelling today. “
If your kids really have a difficult time getting started, employ an enforceable statement. Let them know what you WILL DO when their homework is complete. For example, I love to give treats to kids who finish their homework. Or, I am happy to drive kids to soccer practice when their homework is complete. Just make sure you can follow through!
Sit down with your child two or three times a week and take interest in their work. If they bring home a poor grade on a paper or a test, don’t dwell on it. Be empathetic and ask them how they got certain answers right. As a parent, it is your job to focus on their strengths and encourage them to get help when needed. It is not your job to fix every deficiency!