How to Get Your Child to Do Homework Without a Fight

When it comes to your child’s homework, do you beg, plead or bribe? Do you threaten consequences? You can make homework easier for both you and your children with some simple tips that honor their natural energy.

Most children have a dominant “energy type” that determines the way they move through life. It affects everything they do — playing, talking, eating, sleeping. And yes, it even shows up in the way they do homework!

Ready to take the struggle out of homework? Here are a few homework tips for the four most common types of children: 

THE FUN-LOVING CHILD 

These bright-minded children think quickly and like to move. Their thought process works like snapshots of ideas, so engaging in a linear experience can be challenging for them. Homework tips:

• Pre-homework playtime. If your child attends a traditional school, they need time to do something light and free before jumping into homework. Let them come up with ideas of what they’ll do. This will give them something to look forward to during the structured experience of school.

• Homework jumping. Allow them to jump from one activity to another. That’s how their brain works anyway. Extra movement of things going on in the background is actually helpful for them because it allows them to disconnect from their homework — and then connect again.

THE SENSITIVE CHILD

These subtle children work methodically and are great with details. They are naturally quieter, so speaking up about what they might need can be a challenge for them. Homework tips:

• Planned routine (one that they plan). These children do best when they have a plan that they have made themselves. Which steps will they follow to get things done? You can ask this very young (5 or 6 years old) as this type of child is already thinking this way.

• Invitation to connect. These children often want their parents to recognize the work they’re doing without knowing how to ask for it. Take a second to connect with them while they’re working and invite them to share with you.

THE DETERMINED CHILD

These active children move swiftly and like getting things done. Their natural speed can be a challenge when it comes to detailed tasks they feel are tedious or pointless. Homework tips:

• Help them see the point of it. These children will do homework when they see the point. If they don’t see it, they’ll try to get around it somehow. They’ll pick the grade they want and do as much as they have to do to get it done. Help them see the practical purpose.

• Make homework part of the extracurricular fund. Money is a great motivator for this type of child. If you plan to pay for extracurricular activities, you could attach a money value to finishing homework. Then, that money goes to a sport or lesson they really want. You’ll be spending the money anyway, and they’ll enjoy the feeling of accomplishment as they work toward an activity they really want.

THE MORE SERIOUS CHILD

These focused children are self-motivated. But if they’re not respected for who they are at school, they’ll buck the system. It will look like rebellion, but it’s really just their attempt to stay true to their nature. Homework tips:

• The respectful phrase. These children feel offended when you tell them what to do because they’re aware of their responsibilities. Try this phrase: “Looks like you’re doing great. Let me know if you need help.” Let them come to you, which they will, if they think they need help.

• Ownership of a space. Set aside one consistent place (not the kitchen table) that they can take ownership of at the same time every day to do their homework. If possible, get them their own desk or a place that’s separate from where everyone is moving around.

Parents, here’s your homework assignment to end the homework struggle for good: Set the intention that you and your child are experiencing ease and enjoyment as you support them in their homework. It’s possible, and you can start today!

Carol Tuttle is the CEO of Live Your Truth, LLC and author of the best-selling parenting book, “The Child Whisperer: The Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, Cooperative Children.” Visit thechildwhisperer.com for more info.

About WF Staff

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