Overcoming Homework Frustration

What shall I do instead of get frustrating when I have to help my child with his homework?

Most of the parents don’t know what to do when they try to help their children during homework time. They use to get frustrated, both children and parents.

Instead of doing that you can follow some of our strategies to turn doing homework time into a calm and positive experience:

1. Provide structure.

Your child should know what’s expected from him. He will benefit from having a dedicated place for homework and reading activities. Also, discuss and agree on which assignments get done first and which get done afterwards together with your child. Consider using a timer (sand timers always work) to keep your child focused on a task.

2. Keep distractions to a minimum.

Keep your kid’s workspace free of toys and distractions. The room has to be well lit and quiet and that means no TV, radio, or phone calls while it’s homework time. You want to limit your child’s opportunities for distractions.

3. Empathize and try to give “positive messages”.

If your kid feels frustrated with doing homework, avoid negative statements such as “How can you not get that?” or “I can’t believe it takes you this long to do such a simple assignment!” but rather say “You’re right, it looks like a lot of work,” “Give it a try and we will check it together after you’re done.”

4. Stay calm.

You are your child’s role model. She/He is learning from you on how to deal with frustration and difficult emotions. So, whenever you feel the frustration and emotions building, just leave the room and give yourself time to calm down. The same with your child, when he/she gets frustrated give him some space and time. Take a few deep breaths, count down from 10, splash cold water on your face – whatever helps you to cool off.

5. Give your child breaks in between homework.

Most kids benefit from short breaks while doing homework. Agree with your child on how many breaks she can take and what she can do for the duration of her time off. Some kids enjoy active breaks such as jumping jacks or running around, others enjoy quieter rest, such as listening to music. Another option is to take your child and go out for a walk, take some fresh air.

6. Use a homework checklist.

Teach your child to write out all the things he needs to do for the day in a homework checklist. Crossing things off the list is not only rewarding but also keeps him on track of what’s still outstanding.

7. Make sure your child does her/his own homework.

Homework is your child’s responsibility, not yours. Encourage independence and creativity during homework. However, when your child asks for help, provide assistance but don’t give direct answers. Give him time to find the answer and to wonder about what he/she can do instead of having a “ready” answer.

8. Build in rewards or incentives for a job well done.

Your kids need to know that after a job well done, he/she can have their TV or electronics time, a play date with a friend, or a fun activity. He deserves it!

9. Give specific positive feedback.

Praise your child for a job well done or for completing homework independently. The priority should always be to establish and keep up positive and supportive relationship with your child.

10. Keep the teacher informed.

Let the teacher know if your child’s struggling with a particular subject or a unit learned. A small note will let the teacher know to offer extra help on that subject.

ESPAI TAU KIDS TEAM

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