Does it take your child hours to complete their homework even though it should only take 30 minutes? Do you have stressful evenings because of your child’s homework?
Homework struggles are very common. By implementing the following behavioral strategies, you can help your child improve their performance on homework assignments and reclaim pleasant evenings for your family.
- Imagine a large bulletin board covered with different colorful notices. Now, consider how long does it take you to find a relevant announcement on this board and how many minutes you would spend looking at the board for other interesting posts. This same situation happens at your child’s desk. It is always loaded with tons of stuff. By reducing the stimulation in your child’s work environment, you can help them focus on a task that would be a challenge even if they weren’t tired from a long, active day. By reducing distractions, your child will have better concentration. Clean their desk and put only one assignment in front of him at a time.
- We all know how tempting it is to check messages or read news in a social feed. Having a device at arm’s reach can be a huge distraction. Keeping it in another room or even at a greater distance away (one that requires you to get up to reach it) will significantly reduce the number of times that your child will reach for and be distracted by the device.
- Make a Plan! Ask your child to prepare a list of tasks that should be done. Suggest that they break the list into smaller, more manageable pieces. They can alternate between the easy and more complicated tasks. Ask your child to plan small breaks between the tasks. For example, they could start with a challenging task, then move to an easier one and end with a 5-minute break.
- With your child, think about how long the activity should take. Use a countdown timer. This will help your child stick to his plan and not to lose track of time.
- And finally, the most important ingredient is your positive attention. Check on your child a few times while he is working on his tasks, and find at least one moment on which you can provide your positive feedback. Use concrete remarks such as, “I’m so proud of you that you are working so independently,” or “Great job sticking to your plan.”
|Victoria Tenenbaum is a certified Behavior Analyst, BCaBA. She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Tel Aviv University and currently working toward master’s degree in applied behavior analysis. Victoria specializes in training parents to address children’s problem behaviors by implementing a scientific approach to correcting a child’s sleep or behavior problems. Victoria is a mother of 2 very active boys and is a pediatric behavior consultant for Habitz.