on March 04, 2019 homework study learning

How to motivate your kids to do their homework without nagging!

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Convincing your child do something they don’t want to do is challenging. So what works to motivate them. Try some of our tips below.

1. Rewards

My son Lachlan is not motivated by time out or other such punishments but rewards really works for him. Find what works for your child and perhaps rather than have a battle of words, negotiate for a win-win. 20 minutes on homework = 20 minutes on your iPad.

2. Have the conversation from their point of view.

Explaining the “why” taps into your child’s intrinsic motivation and may appeal to their natural curiosity. If you approach the conversation from their point of view first, it often assists.“I know you are tired from school, so why don’t you take a rest and after dinner we can sit down and see what you need to do for homework together?” This language puts parents on the same side, rather than setting up a battle.

3. Catch them doing something right

Instead of focusing on what your child did wrong, “rushing the homework”, focus instead on the fact that they did put some time into revising. Once they hear positive reinforcement they may be more likely to go that extra mile and share what they are doing. Kids want to please us.

4. Consider their capabilities

If you child is struggling with a task it is very likely she/he will try and avoid it. It makes sense. The feeling of mastery is really motivating. When there is a skills gap or a learning issue that is making it impossible to do homework it is important to recognise this avoidance behaviour and talk about if something he/she is finding difficult. If you aren’t getting all the answers talk to her/his teacher. We welcome the opportunity to be a third party to identify any learning gap and perhaps assist. If you can start with homework tasks that your child is able to do, it will be a better approach to the routine of doing homework.

5. Lead by example

If you can’t do something, what do you do? Ask questions, Google, contact a friend. Encourage your child to do the same. There is no shame in asking for help, so show that you also don’t know everything and have to ask for help too.

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Danielle MacInnis

Danielle is a marketing consultant and mother of 12 year old boy.