Nagging is NG! How to react when your child refuses to do his/her homework

2016.06.30

Children often refuse to do their homework.
However, when parents react by getting angry it only makes the situation worse.
Is there a way to encourage children to sit at a desk and do their homework on their own?

Make it a habit to have them do their homework at the same time every day

Japanese cram schools recommend to parents that they encourage their children to [do their homework the same time every day].
For example, if you choose right after they get home from school, make sure to enforce it.
It is important for them to get into a routine of doing their homework at the same time every day.
If children get it into their heads that “this is study time”, they will begin to do their homework on their own.

Also, it is easier to create a daily schedule along with their after-school activities if the time for studying is set.
Children will learn how to effectively finish their homework according to their schedule.

Motivate them to do their homework on their own

Some children are more motivated if you make studying like a game and a competition.
For example, parents say “let’s try to finish in 5 minutes” and set a stop watch.
Or make it like a race and encourage them to finish their homework by the time Mom finishes cooking one dish.

Sometimes, buying a special set of pens, pencils and other stationery to use only for homework can help, as well.

Let’s try to increase our children’s motivation and make doing homework fun!

Praise them instead of scolding them.

Children’s homework looks easy to parents.
However, from a child’s point of view, homework can be a difficult and hard to complete task.

Parents who stand over their children telling them they need to hurry up only end up adding extra pressure.
Also, comments like “it is easy” or “why can’t you do it?” only end up causing children to lose their confidence.
Nagging and scolding children often make them hate homework even more.
Allowing them to move at their own pace and praising them when they do a good job will increase their motivation.

It helps if parents show interest in their child’s homework

Parents are often very busy at the time their children are doing their homework.
Moms are often busy cooking dinner or taking care of younger children.

However, whenever possible, parents should try to make the time, even if it is once every few days to look at their child’s homework.
It is important that parents do not help with the homework but instead support their child from behind and show that they are interested. It is OK to give hints when children are struggling and think about the answers along with them.

Children are happy when parents show interest in what they are doing. It is also a good opportunity for parents to think about their child’s study habits and topics.

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