5 Ways to Motivate Your Kids to Do Their Homework
by Emily Johnson
Making kids do their homework is one herculean task dreaded by most parents. Making your over energetic kid settle down for something mundane like homework is nothing sort of nightmare, isn’t it? Kids don’t understand its value and therefore don’t take it seriously but homework is a necessary evil. If all your tricks have failed to motivate your child to do his or her homework, then worry not! Because here are five ways to make your life easier.
1) Make It a Positive Affair
A study by Stanford Researcher – Denise Pope has found in a study that excessive homework can be counter-productive, leading to stress and health problems. Don’t make them dread the word homework or make them think that homework is some monster out to destroy their playing time. Use positive language. Don’t keep a stern face and start ordering even before they get their things out! Keep a happy and relaxed attitude. Seeing you relaxed, they won’t feel scared about doing it. It all depends upon the environment and the way you speak about it. Draw associations between homework and their favorite hobby. To your footballer son, say that doing homework would increase his concentration skills, which are very important for playing football. He’ll be more than happy to finish his homework.
2) Engaged, Not Nosy
No one likes to be bossed around and parents often forget that even children are individuals in their own right. If you stand over them and keep checking every 2 minutes, they’ll feel irritated and find ways to escape doing it. Instead, be actively curious about their work, ask them engaging questions related to their study that ignites even their curiosity and makes their work sound interesting. Your healthy involvement with them will also make them feel that homework is not just about sitting alone on your desk, but can also be an engaging experience with their parents.
3) Understand Their Limitations
No one size fits all and this is also true for children. Every child is unique and different. If some children are studious, then some excel in sports. Please stop thinking that something is WRONG with your kid! Once you know that your child’s primary interest doesn’t lie in academics, change the way you approach studies with them. For example - if they are interested in sports, set more time for their playing and less for their studies. Even if they are doing the minimum required, it’s more than enough. Educational psychologists agree that quality and not quantity matters. At the end, understand that his/her interest lies somewhere else.
4) Use Praise and Set Rewards
This is extremely important. It is basic psychology that praise and rewards drive a person. When you complete some tough task at your workplace, you definitely want to be acknowledged. Similarly, homework is nothing less of a job to your kids, they’ll expect kind words and praise from you. Praise them even for their small achievements and downplay their faults. They’ll gain confidence in themselves and look forward to do more. Smile, kiss and hug. Show that you are proud of them. Also, give them small rewards like – greater time for watching TV, toys and not to forget- candies! Kids and Adults love them alike (you can’t say no!) This is something that my mother used as a strategy so that I did my homework. It is no wonder that I have a whole blog dedicated to that! So, if you are wondering which candies would be the best for your kid, head over to my blog and checkout some interesting candies.
5) Set Some. Leave Some.
Don’t get confused. What I mean is that set boundaries but homework shouldn’t be all about you, it is meant for you child. Make it a combined affair. Set the basic boundaries like – all homework has to be done before bed time, but leave some aspects for your child to decide. If he/she is more comfortable with studying after dinner, don’t force them to do it before. If they can’t study for an hour at a stretch, don’t enforce a rigid timetable but discuss with them about how they would like to break their time. Let them feel that they are in control over their work, they will immediately feel responsible towards it and do it with much more vigour.
Making kids do homework is no doubt a tricky task, don’t get overwhelmed by these suggestions. The key to remember is that, they also need space like any other individual, I again say, never forget that kids are also individual beings. Use some psychological insight to understand where your child’s interests lie and accordingly use these tips to motivate them to study.
Emily has a sweet tooth and is therefore a Mexican candy freak! She has a blog at - http://mexicancandy.org where you can find reviews of candies she has tasted. Apart from this obsession of hers, she loves reading books and travelling.