Parents often feel it’s their job to get their kids to do well in school. Naturally, you might get anxious about this responsibility as a parent. You might also get nervous about your kids succeeding in life—and homework often becomes the focus of that concern.

But when parents feel it’s their responsibility to get their kids to achieve, they now need something from their children—they need them to do their homework and be a success. I believe this need puts you in a powerless position as a parent because your child doesn’t have to give you what you want.

The battle about homework actually becomes a battle over control. Your child starts fighting to have more control over the choices in his life, while you feel that your job as a parent is to be in control of things. So you both fight harder, and it turns into a war in your home.

Offer for FREE Empowering Parents Personal Parenting Plan

The truth is, you can’t make him care. Instead, focus on what helps his behavior improve. Don’t focus on the attitude as much as what he’s actually doing.

Over the years, I’ve talked to many parents who are in the trenches with their kids, and I’ve seen firsthand that there are many creative ways kids rebel when it comes to school work. Your child might forget to do his homework, do his homework but not hand it in, do it sloppily or carelessly, or not study properly for his test. These are just a few ways that kids try to hold onto the little control they have.

When this starts happening, parents feel more and more out of control, so they punish, nag, threaten, argue, throw up their hands or over-function for their kids by doing the work for them.

Now the battle is in full swing: reactivity is heightened as anxiety is elevated—and homework gets lost in the shuffle. The hard truth for parents is that you cannot make your children do anything, let alone homework. But what you can do is to set limits, respect their individual choices, and help motivate them to motivate themselves.

You might be thinking to yourself, “You don’t know my child. I can’t motivate him to do anything.” Many parents tell me that their children are not motivated to do their work. I believe that children are motivated—they just may not be motivated the way you’d like them to be. Keep reading for some concrete tips to help you guide them in their work without having to nag, threaten, or fight with them.

Advertisement for Empowering Parents Total Transformation Online Package

Also, keep in mind that if you carry more of the worry, fear, disappointments, and concern than your child does about his work, ask yourself “What’s wrong with this picture and how did this happen?” Remember, as long as you carry their concerns, they don’t have to.

Stop the Nightly Fights

The way you can stop fighting with your kids over homework every night is to stop fighting with them tonight. Disengage from the dance. Choose some different steps or decide not to dance at all. Let homework stay where it belongs—between the teacher and the student. Stay focused on your job, which is to help your child do his job. Don’t do it for him.

Take a Break

If you feel yourself getting reactive or frustrated, take a break from helping your child with homework. Your blood pressure on the rise is a no-win for everyone. Take five or ten minutes to calm down, and let your child do the same if you feel a storm brewing.

Create Structure Around Homework Time

Set limits around homework time. Here are a few possibilities that I’ve found to be effective with families:

  • Homework is done at the same time each night.
  • Homework is done in a public area of your house.
  • If grades are failing or falling, take away screen time so your child can focus and have more time to concentrate on his work.
  • Make it the rule that weekend activities don’t happen until work is completed. Homework comes first. As James Lehman says, “The weekend doesn’t begin until homework is done.”

Get out of Your Child’s “Box”

When you start over-focusing on your child’s work, pause and think about your own goals. What are your life goals and what “homework” do you need to get done in order to achieve those goals? Model your own persistence and perseverance to your child.

Let Your Child Make His Own Choices

I recommend that within the parameters you set around schoolwork, your child is free to make his own choices. You need to back off a bit as a parent. Otherwise, you won’t be helping him with his responsibilities.

If you take too much control over the situation, it will backfire on you by turning into a power struggle. And believe me, you don’t want a power struggle over homework. I’ve seen many kids purposely do poorly just to show their parents “who’s in charge.” I’ve also seen children who complied to ease their parents’ anxiety, but these same kids never learned to think and make choices for themselves.

Let Your Child Own the Consequences of His Choices

I’m a big believer in natural consequences when it comes to schoolwork. Within the structure you set up, your child has some choices. He can choose to do his homework or not. And he can choose to do it well and with effort or not. The natural consequences will come from the choices he makes—if he doesn’t choose to get work done, his grades will drop.

When that happens, you can ask him some honest questions:

“Are you satisfied with how things are going?

“What do you want to do about your grade situation?”

“How can I be helpful to you?”

Be careful not to be snarky or judgmental, just ask the question honestly. Show honest concern and try not to show disappointment.

Intervene Without Taking Control

The expectation is that homework is done to the best of your child’s ability. When he stops making an effort and you see his grades drop, that’s when you invite yourself in. You can say:

“Now it’s my job to help you do your job better. I’m going to help you set up a plan to help yourself and I will check in to make sure you’re following it.”

Set up a plan with your child’s input in order to get him back on his feet. For example, the new rules might be that homework must be done in a public place in your home until he gets his grades back up. You and your child might meet with the teacher to discuss disciplinary actions should his grades continue to drop.

In other words, you will help your child get back on track by putting a concrete plan in place. And when you see this change, then you can step back out of it. But before that, your child is going to sit in a public space and you’re going to work on his math or history, perhaps together.

You’re also checking in more. Depending on the age of your child, you’re making sure that things are checked off before he goes out. You’re adding a half hour of review time for his subjects every day. And then each day after school, he’s checking with his teacher or going for some extra help.

Remember, this plan is not a punishment—it’s a practical way of helping your child to do his best.

“I Don’t Care about Bad Grades”

Many parents will say that their kids just don’t care about their grades. My guess is that somewhere inside, they do care. “I don’t care” also becomes part of a power struggle.

In other words, your child is saying, “I’m not going to care because you can’t make me. You don’t own my life.” And he is right. The truth is, you can’t make him care. Instead, focus on what helps his behavior improve. Don’t focus on the attitude as much as what he’s actually doing.

Motivation Comes From Ownership

It’s important to understand that caring and motivation come from ownership. You can help your child be motivated by allowing him to own his life more.

So let him own his disappointment over his grades. Don’t feel it more than he does. Let him choose what he will do or not do about his homework and face the consequences of those choices. Now he will begin to feel ownership, which may lead to caring.

Let him figure out what motivates him, not have him motivated by fear of you. Help guide him but don’t prevent him from feeling the real-life consequences of bad choices like not doing his work. Think of it this way: it’s better for your child to learn from those consequences at age ten by failing his grade and having to go to summer school than for him to learn at age 25 by losing his job.

When Your Child Has a Learning Disability

I want to note that it’s very important that you check to see that there are no other learning issues around your child’s refusal to do homework. If he is having a difficult time doing the work or is performing below grade level expectations, he should be tested to rule out any learning disabilities or other concerns.

If there is a learning disability, your child may need more help. For example, some kids need a little more guidance; you may need to sit near your child and help a little more. You can still put structures into place depending on who your child is.

But be careful. Many times, kids with learning disabilities get way too much help and develop what psychologists call learned helplessness. Be sure you’re not over-functioning for your learning disabled child by doing his work for him or filling in answers when he is capable of thinking through them himself.

The Difference between Guidance and Over-Functioning

Your child needs guidance from you, but understand that guidance does not mean doing his spelling homework for him. Rather, it’s helping him review his words. When you cross the line into over-functioning, you are taking on your child’s work and putting his responsibilities on your shoulders. So you want to guide him by helping him edit his book report himself or helping him take the time to review before a test. Those can be good ways of guiding your child, but anything more than that is taking too much ownership of his work.

If your child asks for help, you can coach him. Suggest that he speak with his teacher on how to be a good student, and teach him those communication skills. In other words, show him how to help himself. So you should not back off altogether—it’s that middle ground that you’re looking for. That’s why I think it’s important to set up a structure. And within that structure, you expect your child to do what he has to do to be a good student.

Believe In Your Child

I also tell parents to start believing in their children. Don’t keep looking at your child as a fragile creature who can’t do the work. I think we often come to the table with fear and doubt—we think if we don’t help our kids, they’re just not going to do it.

But as much as you say, “I’m just trying to help you,” what your child actually hears is, “You’re a failure; I don’t believe you can do it on your own.”

Instead, your message should be, “I know you can do it. And I believe in you enough to let you make your own choices and deal with the consequences.”

Further Reading

10 Ways to Motivate Your Child to Do Better in School
Problems at School? How to Handle the Top 4 Issues
What Can I Do When My Child Refuses to Go to School?

Notes and References

About

For more than 25 years, Debbie has offered compassionate and effective therapy and coaching, helping individuals, couples and parents to heal themselves and their relationships. Debbie is the creator of the Calm Parent AM & PM™ program (which is included in The Total Transformation® Online Package) and is also the author of numerous books for young people on interpersonal relations.

Comments (39)
  • Anna
    My 2 cousins really don't like homework. Unless my sis insists and sits with them together, they never do their homework willingly. Even they sit to do, their minds wander and never focus on their assignments. We tried everything- begged, promised a reward and scolded. Any good suggestion else?
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach
      We appreciate you writing in to Empowering Parents and sharing your story. Because we are a website aimed at helping people become more effective parents, we are limited in the advice and suggestions we can give to those outside of a direct parenting role. In addition to the tips inMore the article above, it may be helpful to look into local resources to help you develop a plan for addressing these particular issues with your cousins, such as their doctor or their teachers. We wish you the best going forward. Take care.
  • vanessa
    I have an 8yr old and in 2nd grade she is having issues with reading and does have an ICT teacher in her class to help her. As soon as we get home from school she eats a snack while I get her ready for homework, same time every dayMore 4pm. And she dreads to do it and complains she doesn't want to do it, honestly it is frustrating when you're trying to help but they don't make the effort, is there any other way I can make it more interesting for her to do her work? .
    • Rebecca Wolfenden, Parent Coach
      I hear you. Homework can be a challenging, frustrating time in many families even under the best of circumstances, so you are not alone. When kids struggle with a subject, it can be even more difficult to get assignments completed. Although you didn’t indicate that your daughterMore has ADHD, you might find some helpful tips in Why School is Hard for Kids with ADHD—and How You Can Help. Author Anna Stewart outlines techniques that can be useful to help make homework more interesting for kids with a variety of learning challenges in this article. You might also consider checking in with your daughter’s teacher, as s/he might have some additional ideas for engaging your daughter in her homework. Please be sure to write back and let us know how things are going for you and your family. Take care.
  • kdloeffler

    So, after reading this I get to say…GREAT…You really do not know my child.  We have done 100% of everything listed in this article.  In the end, my son has utterly declared “I DON’T CARE, AND I DON’T NEED SCHOOL”.  We have attempted a “reward” system as well, and that doesn’t work.  He cares about 3 or 4 things.  Nintendo DS, Lego, K’Nex, TV…all of those he has lost over the past year.  Now he reads, ALL the time.  Fine, but that doesn’t get his homework done.  It also doesn’t get anything else he needs to do done.  We’ve done “task boards”, we’ve done “Reward Systems”, we’ve done the “What is on your list to complete”.  EVERYTHING is met with either a full fledged meltdown (think 2 year old…on the floor, kicking and screaming and crying).  His IMMEDIATE response to ANYTHING that may interrupt him is “NO” or worse.  If something doesn’t go his way directly he throws a fit INSTANTLY, even if the response is “Give me a second” it’s NOW OR I’M DESTROYING SOMETHING.  He’s been suspended multiple times for his anger issues, and he’s only 10.  Unfortuantely we have no family history as he was adopted from Russia.  His “formal” diagnosis are ADHD and Anxiety.  I’m thinking there is something much more going on.  BTW: He did have an IQ test and that put him at 145 for Spacial and Geometric items, with a 136 for written and language.  His composite was 139, which puts him in the genius category, but he’s failing across the board…because he refuses to do the work.

  • GjDvan

    Interesting article and comments. Our son (6th grade) was early diagnosed as ADHD and for the first 3 years of elementary school several of his teachers suggested he might require special education. But then the school counseling staff did a workup and determined that his IQ is 161 and from that point forward his classroom antics were largely tolerated as “eccentric”.  He has now moved to middle school (6th grade) and while his classroom participation seems to be satisfactory to all teachers, he has refused to do approximately 65% of his homework so far this school year. We have tried talking with him, reasoning with him, removing screen time, offering cash payments (which he lectures us as being unethical “bribes”), offering trips, offering hobbies and sporting events, and just about anything we can think of. Our other children have all been through the “talented and gifted” programs, but he simply refuses to participate in day-to-day school work. His fall report card was pretty much solid “F” or “O” grades. He may be bored out of his mind, or he may have some other issues. Unfortunately, home schooling is not an option, and neither is one of the $40,000 per year local private schools which may or may not be in a better position to deal with his approach to school.  Do “learning centers” work for kids like this? Paying somebody else to force him to do his homework seems like a coward’s solution but I am nearly at the end of my rope! Thanks..

  • 12yokosuka
    My very bright daughter is 10.  She only listens to my husband when she has to do her homework.  She failed a science and a math test last week where she is bright in.  I have bipolar disorder and it is hard for me to stay calm when my daughterMore doesn't do her homework or study her test.  We have tried taking her phone away and she screams like crazy when we do that.  I am stable but it is really difficult for me and my husband doesn't help me.  I need help.  If you do also have bipolar I would love to talk to you.  God Bless
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport
      12yokosuka Many parents struggle with staying calm when their child is acting out and screaming, so you are not alone.  It tends to be effective to set up a structured time for kids to do their homework and study, and they can earn a privilege if they comply and meetMore their responsibilities.  What this might look like for your daughter is that if she studies, she can earn her phone that day.  If she refuses, and chooses to argue or scream at you instead, then she doesn’t earn her phone that day and has another chance the next day.  You can read more about this in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/end-the-nightly-homework-struggle-5-homework-strategies-that-work-for-kids/.  If you are also looking for resources to help you stay calm, I encourage you to check out our articles, blogs, and other resources on https://www.empoweringparents.com/article-categories/parenting-strategies-techniques/calm-parenting/.  Please let us know if you have any additional questions.  Take care.
  • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

    Scott carcione 

    I’m sorry to hear about the challenges you are experiencing with your

    son.I also hear the different

    approaches you and your ex are taking toward parenting your son.While it would be ideal if you were able to

    find common ground, and present a consistent, united response to your son’s

    choices, in the end, you can only https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/parenting-after-divorce-9-ways-to-parent-on-your-own-terms/.At

    this point, it might be useful to meet with the school to discuss how you can

    work together to hold your son accountable for his actions, such as receiving a

    poor grade if he refuses to do his work.Janet Lehman discusses this more in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/when-your-child-has-problems-at-school-6-tips-for-parents/.Take care.

  • dwerle
    MY 7 YEAR OLD SON IS VERY GOOD AT MATH YET HE REFUSES TO DO IT AT SCHOOL, HE YELLS AT THE TEACHERS, HE THROWS THINGS, HE KICKS AND PUSHES THINGS OVER. AT HOME HE KNOWS BETTER AND DOESNT TRY THESE THINGS BUT HOW DO I GET HIM TO PARTICIPATE INMore SCHOOL SETTING??? HES OUT OF CONTROL AT SCHOOL!
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      dwerle 

      It can be so challenging when your child is acting out at school, yet does

      not act that way at home.One strategy I

      recommend is talking with your son at home about his behavior at school.During this conversation, I encourage you to

      address his choices, and come up with a specific plan for what he can do differently

      to follow the rules.I also recommend

      working with his teachers, and discussing how you can assist them in helping

      your son to follow the rules.You might

      find additional useful tips in our article, https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/acting-out-in-school-when-your-child-is-the-class-troublemaker/.Please be sure to write back and let us know

      how things are going for you and your son.Take care.

  • Melnic
    My 4 year old daughter started rim art school in September and now stays in school from 8:30am-2:30. She has started asking me to pick her up early from school and has now started refusing to do simple tracing or writing homework, which she was great at in preschool, someMore times she would scratch her books/ furniture, tear pages, shout or scream out at me and I would tell her put the book in her bag and tell her teacher the next day why she didn't do the work. Eventually she would sit with her father and get it done. Lately it seems as if anything I say or do with her is a battle and she wants daddy to do with her but still puts up a fight....I also have a 4 month old baby whom I have to spend much time with also. I'm not sure if this is contributing to her behavior but she loves her baby brother a lot and tries to play with him even when he's resting....any suggestion would be greatly appreciated!
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      Melnic 

      I hear you.It can be so challenging

      when your young child is having outbursts like this.A lot of young children tend to act out and

      have tantrums when they are experiencing a big transition, such as starting a

      new school or adjusting to having a younger sibling, so you are not alone.Something that can be helpful is to set up

      clear structure and expectations around homework, as Janet Lehman points out in

      https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/my-child-refuses-to-do-homework-heres-how-to-stop-the-struggle/.I also encourage you to set aside some time

      for you to have https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/attention-seeking-behavior-in-young-children-dos-and-donts-for-parents/ with your daughter as well.Please be sure to write back and let us know

      how things are going for you and your family.Take care.

  • JoJoSuma
    Our 9 year old has gotten worse with homework. She has anxiety but no learning disabilities we are currently aware of. We ask her why she doesn't want to do it, she says it's boring or that it's hard. Yet, when she sets her mind to it, she breezes throughMore it. We have tried medication in the past to help her focus, it didn't help and made her aggressive. We are at our wits end because she is very bright, we hate to see her fail. Help me please!
    • T_Rae

      JoJoSuma I am having the exact same problem with my 9 year old son. His grades are quickly falling and I have no idea why or where to begin with helping him turn things around. When he applies himself he receives score of 80% or higher, and when he doesn't it clearly shows and he receives failing scores. He, too, says that he doesn't do or want to do the work because it is boring, or that he "Forgot" or "lost it". He has started to become a disruption to the class and at this rate I am afraid that he will have to repeat 5th grade. I am also a single parent so my frustration is at an all time high. You are not alone and I wish you and your family the best.

      Thank you so much for these tips RebeccaW_ParentalSupport because I SERIOUSLY had nowhere to turn and no clue where to begin. I have cried many nights feeling like I was losing control. I will try your tips and see where things go from here.

    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      JoJoSuma 

      It’s not uncommon

      for kids to avoid doing homework, chores or other similar tasks.  After

      all, homework can be boring or difficult, and most people (both kids and adults

      alike) tend to prefer activities which are enjoyable or fun.  This does

      not mean that you cannot address this with your daughter, though. 

      Something which can be helpful for many families is to set up a structured

      homework time, and to require that your daughter complete her homework in order

      to earn a privilege later on that evening.  You can read about this, and

      other tips, in https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/end-the-nightly-homework-struggle-5-homework-strategies-that-work-for-kids/. 

      Please be sure to write back and let us know how things are going for you and

      your daughter.  Take care.

  • Thestruggleisreal
    I'm just now signing up for these articles, I'm struggling with my 12 year and school work, she just doesn't want to do it, she has no care I'm world to do, she is driving me crazy over not doing, I hate to see herMore fail, but I don't know what to do
  • FamilyMan888
    We have an 11 year old girl with some learning and anxiety issues. I can see that the war over homework has started, she refuses to even talk about it, and I can feel my own anxiety is making the situation worse for her. She finds the subject very stressfulMore as do I. So the comments in this Article are really helpful. One issue I want to explore further is about kids with learning difficulties. We have had her tested, and based on that she was given eye exercises - she did not have the concentration ability to keep that up. Then we were recommended to a psychologist to help her deal with her anxiety and that does not seem to be proving too effective. Now her teacher is saying that her reading and comprehension are very poor, and that she needs additional support for that over and above what the school can provide, but she is refusing to even discuss the subject of going to get that support. The only way I can think is to have her teacher require her to go to therapy, but that may just start conflict at some level with her teacher/the school system which thankfully she has so far enjoyed. My point is that kids with learning difficulties have low self esteem, find it very hard to do homework and reading etc. and often don't want to be singled out for extra support when their friends do not need it. As suggested, we do need to find a way to motivate her so it is something she feels she needs she wants to do, but it is very tough. The school she is at is a wonderful supportive school (Steiner based) but does not have very much by way of extra support. If we move her to a mainstream school with that support she likely will get overwhelmed and they most likely will not really address her underlying issues that are causing the LD. While I agree that it would be great to set aside a time each day for homework, given the irregularity of after school activities (such as sports etc. which she enjoys) that often is not realistic. In these situations I struggle with whether to just go with the flow and lower expectations of her until she is ready.  The risk is that her self esteem gets lower and lower as she moves into her teens. But she is at an age where I cannot really force her and she already sees through the carrot and/or stick approaches that used to sometimes be effective. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated. (As an aside if I may make a recommendation, for those with kids between say 5 and 10 who have learning issues, I really recommend taking remedial action quickly based on your own gut instincts. Don't hesitate, and don't believe the teachers or know it all family members who say that everything will turn out alright. Do it while you still have some measure of control. And don't limit yourself to tutoring or other "standard" methods, because some of these kids like our daughter clearly has an underlying processing issue which needs to be fixed before she really can progress. These days there seem to be newer and more innovative ways of improving kids these issues and if I had my time again I would have started these when she was about 5. At least that is my experience.) Thank you, and have a great day!
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      FamilyMan888 

      I can hear how much your

      daughter’s education means to you, and the additional difficulties you are

      facing as a result of her learning disabilities.  You make a great point

      that you cannot force her to do her work, or get additional help, and I also

      understand your concern that getting her teachers to “make” her do these things

      at school might create more conflict there as well.  As James Lehman

      points out in his article, https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/stop-the-blame-game-how-to-teach-your-child-to-stop-making-excuses-and-start-taking-responsibility/, lowering your expectations for your daughter due to her

      diagnosis is probably not going to be effective either.  Instead, what you

      might try is involving her in the https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/the-surprising-reason-for-bad-child-behavior-i-cant-solve-problems/, and asking her what she thinks she needs, and what she will do

      differently, to meet classroom expectations.  Please be sure to write back

      and let us know how things are going for you and your family.  Take care.

  • tvllpit
    Very effective to  kids age of 5, 7, and 11 years old. Thank you for sharing your idea.
  • Roset190
    Hi there.  There are mixed message here.  It's suggested that we set a time every day to do work but also that we let them not do it and deal with the consequences?  We have a set time (after supper) but when the time comes, all hell breaks loose!  PerhapsMore we should let that set time go?  Not sure what to do for our 11 year old.
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      @Roset190 

      Thank you for

      your question.  You are correct that we recommend setting up a structured

      time for kids to do homework, yet not getting into a power struggle with them

      if they refuse to do their work during that time.  It could be useful to

      talk with your 11 year old about what makes it difficult to follow through with

      doing homework at that time, and perhaps experimenting with doing homework at

      another time to see if that works more effectively.  In the end, though,

      if your child is simply refusing to do the work, then we recommend giving a

      consequence and avoiding a power struggle.  Megan Devine details this

      process more in her article, https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/end-the-nightly-homework-struggle-5-homework-strategies-that-work-for-kids/. 

      Please let us know if you have any additional questions.  Take care.

  • jovi916
    I'm a mother to a 10 year old 5th grader. Since 3rd grade I've been struggling with homework. That first year, I thought it was just lack of consistency since my children go between mine and dad's house. I tried setting some sort of system up withMore the teacher to get back on track, but the teacher said it was the child's responsibility to get the hw done. This year has been esp. Difficult. He stopped doing hw, got an F, so I got on him. He stared turning half done work, but same grades so I still got on him. Grades went up, I loosened up, then he stopped with in school work. Now it's back to not turning anything in, even big projects and presentations. He had never really been allowed to watch tv, but now it's a definite no, I took his Legos away, took him out of sports. Nothing is working. He's basically sitting at the table every night, and all weekend long in order to get caught up with missing assignments. I'm worried, and next year he'll be in middle school. I try setting an example by studying in front of him. My daughter just does her homework and gets good grades. Idk what to do.
  • ayana1987
    I try to help my kids and they fuss at times when doing the work.  My daughter is six years old and she is not completing her assignments.  I am also seeing the same pattern when my son was in 2nd year and its the same behavior.  Am I doingMore something wrong?  Actually I am studying and when I reach home at times they are already sleeping.  So I know that is the number one reason they are performing under their level of work.  I may have to give up studying and try to help them set a good foundation.  My son is in standard two and he cannot spell properly.  I am reading different articles to help them and I came across yours.  What can I do again to get their grades up as I feel like I am failing when they are failing.
    • DeniseR_ParentalSupport

      ayana1987

      I can hear your concern. Academic achievement is important

      to most parents and when your children seem to be struggling to complete their

      work and get good grades, it can be distressing. Ultimately, your childrens’

      school work and grades are their responsibility. You shouldn’t have to quit

      your own studies in order to help them improve theirs. The above article gives

      some great tips for helping motivate your children to complete their homework.

      We do have a couple other articles you may also find useful: https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/10-ways-to-motivate-your-child-to-do-better-in-school/ & https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/sinking-fast-at-school-how-to-help-your-child-stay-afloat/. We appreciate you

      writing in and hope you find the information useful. Take care.

  • christinav25
    I have a lot of trouble getting my 8 year old son to do his homework each night. He's in 3rd grade now and its been like this since kindergarten where he used to only have reading. At least now he doesnt cry like he did in kindergarten.But oh myMore goodness is it a real drag every night when its homework time. I dread it every day. I have to tell him 10 times its time for homework before he starts getting his stuff out. Then he has a hard time understanding and I try to explain, he just gets frustrated.  He also had to go to summer school for kindergarten and 2nd grade. What should be done in 30 minutes takes us 1.5 to 2 hours. My daughter is the opposite. She does her homework on her own and gets good grades. I never had to sit down and do any homework with her, so I know its not the parenting that causes this. Im just tired of it and can only see it getting worse as the work gets harder, I feel he's left behind by his teachers as he is in school 8 hours a day and comes home not knowing how to do anything.
    • RNM
      I have the exact same issues with my 8 year old. It makes me feel like I'm doing something wrong. He's a smart kid, he just doesn't seem to care to do his homework let alone if he gets a bad grade as a result. He hates reading, but doesMore very well in spelling and science. Homework is an issue nightly and the teacher pulled me aside today to tell me again how much he talks in class and that now he isn't writing down his assignments and is missing 3 assignments this week. SMH, I don't know what to do anymore other than to coach him (some more) and take away basketball if he doesn't do his homework.
  • d_d_s_s

    What?  "Let homework stay where it belongs—between the teacher and the student. Refuse to get pulled in by the school.."  I do not see the logic or benefit of this advice.  Homework, by definition, is the responsibility of the student and parent (NOT the teacher).  The teacher does not live at the student's home or run the house.  

    In my opinion, the lack of parental involvement with academics often causes the low student performance evident across the U.S.  I do not agree with advocating for even LESS parental involvement.

    • MEarls

      I completely agree with you. Parental, or adult, engagement at home can be a deal-maker/breaker when it comes to student performance. I subscribe to theories that differ from the author's.

      First, if an adult is involved with the child and his activities, then the child will commonly react with "hey, somebody cares about me" leading to an increased sense of self-worth. A sense of caring about one's-self leads to caring about grades and other socially acceptable behaviors (Maslow).

      Secondly, I am a FIRM believer in the techniques of behavior modification through positive reinforcement (Karen Pryor). It's up to an invested adult to determine what motivates the student and use those motivators to shape and reinforce desirable behavior such as daily homework completion. A classroom teacher has too many students and too little time to apply this theory.

      Letting a child sink or swim by himself is a bad idea. Children have only one childhood; there are no do-overs.

      And yes, children are work.

  • linh
    Mom of 3..I find myself getting so frustrated not sure why? I tell my kids it's not about the grades but the the work habits they should be developing/focus on. I want to be hands off and let them figure it out but feel soon bad when theyMore do poorly...sometimes feel like their failure is a reflection of my parenting. Help?
  • hao hao
    It is so true, we can't control our children's home. It is their responsibility. But they don't care it. What can we do it?
  • indusreepradeep
    I am sister of a 12 year old boy studying in seventh grade.I find him not getting interested in studying or doing homework after coming home from school.He is worried more about video games and TV.He get to do his home works only after continuous pressure from parents.He is veryMore attentive,obedient and performs well in school.But at home , he says he need to rest from studies.How can i help him to get more involved in studies without pressurizing ?
    • DeniseR_ParentalSupport

      indusreepradeep

      How great it is that you want to help your brother be more

      productive with his homework. He’s lucky to have a sibling who cares about him

      and wants him to be successful. Because we are a website aimed at helping

      parents develop better ways of managing acting out behavior, we are limited in

      the advice we can offer you as his sibling. There is a website that may be able

      to offer you some suggestions. http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/

      is a website aimed at helping teens and young adults figure out ways of dealing

      with challenges they may be facing in their lives. They offer several ways of

      getting support, such as by e-mail or text, through an online forum and chat,

      and also a call in helpline. You can check out what they have to offer at http://www.yourlifeyourvoice.org/. Good luck

      to you and your family moving forward. Take care.

    • Kathleenann
      indusreepradeep I would recommend giving him time to relax and play a little but schedule it. Make him see the importance of also doing his homework. Maybe take time to discuss it with him and determine what kind of time it will take to do homework and how much time heMore may need to relax then write up a schedule he'll agree to adhere to.
      • indusreepradeep

        Kathleenann indusreepradeep

        Thank you so much for your humble support....

  • sandyz h
    I am a mother of an autistic 11 year old and we do online schools forvseveral reasons. My daughter has an iep for her learning disability as well as 3 therapies a week. I can seem to get her to engage in her school work on the computer as wellMore as her homework. I am at my end what do I do she has sensory isdues as well as many others is there any advice? I have created a classroom in my dining room, I offer as much help as possible but she just dont seem to care what do I do?
    • RebeccaW_ParentalSupport

      @sandyz h 

      It sounds like you have done a lot

      of work to try to help your daughter achieve her educational goals, and it’s

      normal to feel frustrated when she does not seem to be putting in the same

      amount of effort.  It can be useful to keep your focus on whether your

      daughter is doing her work, and to keep that separate from whether she “cares”

      about doing her work.  Ultimately, it is up to your daughter to do her

      work, regardless of how she appears to feel about it.  To that end, we

      recommend working with the various local supports you have in place, such as

      her therapists and others on her IEP team, to talk about what could be useful

      to motivate your daughter to do her school work.  Because individuals with

      autism can vary greatly with their abilities, it’s going to be more effective

      to work closely with the professionals who are familiar with your daughter’s

      strengths and level of functioning in order to develop a plan to address this

      issue.  Thank you so much for writing in; we wish you and your daughter

      all the best as you continue to address her difficulties with school. 

      Take care.

  • sitkanurse

    is there a blog for parents that went to Therapeutic boarding schooling for their adolescent?

Advertisement for Empowering Parents Total Transformation Online Package
Like What You're Reading?
Sign up for our newsletter and get immediate access to a FREE eBook, 5 Ways to Fix Disrespectful Behavior Now
We will not share your information with anyone. Terms of Use
×