Ending Homework Nightmares

by on Mar.12, 2012, under Wellness

Homework is a nightmare at my home. My daughter constantly forgets to bring home the assignments and books she needs. How can I motivate her to do homework independently?

Let’s face it, most of us have problems following through with things that we would rather not do. This fact – especially when it comes to homework — often pushes parents to bribery. The trouble with rewards is simple: At some point they must end. Ideally, your child should be able to complete homework without depending on you or bribes.

First, tackle the issue of bringing home the correct assignments. Have a brainstorming session (without lecturing) with your daughter to think of ways she can remind herself to take down assignments and bring home the correct tools to complete them. Let her choose whichever one she prefers; whether it’s a poster on her bedroom door, a sticky note on her backpack or a sign made from pictures for her locker. Help her create the reminder and tell her that you will depend on her to make it work.

Try the same type of method for getting your daughter to complete homework assignments independently. Ask your daughter what kind of space she needs to do her best work and help her create that work space. You may think the only way to do homework effectively is at a desk facing a wall with both feet planted on the floor.

This is not necessarily true. Some people prefer to be sitting in a more comfortable chair with pillows. Some like to write in red ink on a big yellow pad.

The important thing to remember here is if you let her design her workspace, you shift the responsibility from you to her. Now it is her choice of space, her work and her responsibility. It really doesn’t matter if your daughter sits on a beanbag chair with headphones on her ears while she does her homework. The goal is for her to build a routine that works best for her as an individual. As a parent, you want her to discover the one person she can count on when things need to be done – herself.

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