– Billy, it’s getting late, are you done with your homework?”, the parents say and switch HBO on to watch the next episode of their favorite series. So Billy drags himself into his room to do his home task. He opens his books and browses the tasks: ok, math: “What is the square root of 225?” What the heck is square root? Ok, let’s skip math and switch to Spanish: “Translate the following text into English”… Oh boy, what are all these words supposed to mean? Goodbye Spanish, hello history: “The instability created in Europe by the First World War set the stage for another international conflict–World War II–which broke out two decades later. Rising to power in an economically and politically unstable Germany, Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party…” oh man, that’s way to much!
So, Billy sets the books aside and goes back to the living room, sits on the couch and joins their parents in watching a new episode of the series.
-Are you done now sweetie?”
-Are you sure? And math, too?
What a nice family time! But hang on, don’t you want your kid to grow into an empowered and informed member of society, compatible and capable to cope with the rising requirements and standards? Then you have to pay more attention to your kid’s school success, and homework is a lion’s share of it! Kids hate doing homework, that’s a gospel truth, and it is hard for parents to force them to get the job done. They cheat, play truant and do the best they can to liberate themselves from obnoxious routine. Nonetheless, there are some tricks that parents can use in their turn to “force” a kid to go and work with their textbooks… with enthusiasm!
First of all, you can praise them! Barter is a good idea. For example, you promise a child to buy him something he/she wants in exchange for making homework, say, by the end of the year. Be moderate though and don’t turn this trick into some sort of tradition; otherwise, a kid will start considering the studies as a matter of some deal and won’t do anything without a prize.
Second of all, remember that home task is very challenging for a kid. Indeed, this is a great work that requires a lot of factors. Thus, never ask your kid to do it when he is tired, too busy with some other task, or right after the dinner. Chose the right time when it is impossible for him to find an excuse.
Besides, just saying “go do your homework” is not enough. You are a parent after all and in charge for him. Take your time and help the kid with the most challenging subjects. You can turn it into a game, be funny and try to intrigue a child. Yes, as sad as it may sound, you are supposed to dive into the school books again, but that’s the only way to help your kid if he or she is having motivation problems.
And finally, take a trouble to explain the kid WHY exactly these home tasks are good for him.
-Remember Uncle Danny, son? Yeah, that one who is now on rehab. He never did his homework and look at him now!” That’s a primitive example, but I’m sure you’ll find your own way!