Take a moment to think about how you parent your teen with their homework. Are there times you’re operating in fear or control mode? Do you give them the freedom to choose when and IF they do their work? How has your behavior toward your teen and their HW served you in the past? What would you like to see different in the future? Are you willing to give your teen more freedom?
1) Encourage a leisure activity of their choice before they embark on Homework.
Kids are tired when they come home from school. They’ve had a singular focus all day and they need time to regroup and unwind before their evening responsibilities. A leisure activity can increase their productivity.
2) Offer your support without looking over their shoulder.
Your child wants to feel cared for and supported, without feeling like you are looking over their shoulder. Tell them you’re nearby to help if they need it, but find your own fun things to focus on.
3) Don’t check their assignments online.
This can be a tough one but it’s essential. Encourage your child to check their online progress so they know where they stand, but resist the temptation to do so yourself. Checking grades and assignments online will set a parent up for keeping their child accountable in a way that will only bring resistance from the teen, not more productivity.
4) Teach your child that productivity comes from their alignment.
Feeling good is the only way to be productive and accomplish a task in the best way possible. Model good feeling behavior for your child and encourage them to find ways to feel good themselves. This may be by doing fun activities and also focusing on things that are happy as opposed to negative before they start any project or task.
5) Resist the temptation to continually ask if they’ve finished their Homework.
Allow your teen the freedom to finish their work at their own pace. A loving reminder is ok if they’ve gotten distracted, or even reminding them that they only have ONE job to do right now. But keep in mind that it’s counterproductive to continually remind your teen about what they know they have to do.
Allow your teen to go through the positive and negative consequences. By allowing that freedom, you help usher your teen from childhood into adulthood, where they will be facing the consequences for all their own decisions.
I found that with my own kids, it was only a matter of time before they started to pay attention to how it felt when they didn’t do their homework, as opposed to when they did. The low grades and missed assignments eventually–just didn’t feel good to them, so they decided to make a new choice for themselves. The important thing is to teach your kids to pay attention to how they feel when they take action on any subject in their lives, HW just being one of them. Keep in mind that the realization from your teen—regarding how they feel about doing or not doing their schoolwork—will be on their own timeline– not yours.
To schedule a free 20 minute coaching session, please contact me directly, Sharon@SharonBallantine.com.