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How to Get a Child to Do Homework:
Advice From Psychologists

1. Remember, school is not the most important thing in life!

Many people are used to thinking that school is the most important thing in a person's life from age 6 to 16 and that learning must necessarily be as good as possible. That's why some parents demand that the child sits for lessons "to the end" to get everything done (and perfect). The lessons are not the main thing: your relationship with your child, his psychological comfort, and involvement in learning are much more important. Besides, most parents' lives are already very stressful - it's often not easy to find the strength after work to sit down with your child for lessons.

So to start with it is very important to understand (both for you and your child) that unfinished work is not a tragedy and not a disaster. Otherwise, you will worry that you are bad parents, and your child is loved only for results and grades, and this will interfere with his or her life as an adult.

2. Help your child overcome the fear of homework

At first, sitting over homework, the child may be confused and do not understand how to approach it. In such situations, the task is to help organize the process, to show where to start, how to finish, and how to properly format the answers in their notebooks. Explain why things need to be done in such an order, say the whole sequence of actions out loud. When he gets the hang of it, advise him to say these commands to himself (first out loud, then to himself). After a while, he will stop being confused or afraid of a blank page - and it will become much easier for him (and you too).

3. Explain to yourself why you should do homework

Many parents strive to make lessons a habit, but most children don't understand why they have to do something just because they have to. Telling a child "you have to" if he or she is doing math every day, pouring tears, is a direct way for a curious and open person to turn into a closed and sad person who is distrustful of everything new.

On the one hand, the child must understand that there are things in life that you have to do from day to day, but they are useful and necessary - like brushing your teeth. On the other hand, studying should by no means be monotonous "cramming": schoolchildren already have a hard time because of boring examples and monotonous tasks. You need to become not a dictator, but a partner. Think about what he is interested in. This can be games or your ‘creative projects’ to explore the world - for example, you can draw comics on history or do experiments together. It's best if the child treats the tasks as an exploration rather than a set of facts that just need to be learned.

To explain to a child why it is necessary to study and do homework at all (and even enjoy it), you first have to figure out for yourself how it works. You should ask yourself: ‘Why I cannot use cheap homework help instead of sitting and wasting my time’? You need to be able to explain this to yourself, and only then to your child.

4. Teach your child to make their own decisions

Try to give your child more independence. Otherwise, it will turn out that in first grade he can't make decisions because he's too young, in second grade too. Moreover, by eighth grade, it will turn out that he has no such experience and doesn't know how to do it at all. Besides, parents should not replace the teacher, otherwise, children will not listen to anything in class, hoping that you will tell them everything later. This happens especially often with children who lack parental attention - for them, preparing homework together is an excuse to spend time with mom or dad. As a result, the child wastes time at school, and parents do homework with them instead of socializing. It is much more important to spend this time on joint activities unrelated to school (walks, board games, going to the movies, whatever).

Sometimes there is a lot of homework. The teacher doesn’t explain something in so the pupils essentially have to master most of the material on their own. As a rule, children find a way out pretty quickly: they just don't do what they don't have time for. Trust your child and let him or her make this decision - children have to learn how to choose and prioritize: what is more important to learn, and what can be postponed or figured out in class. If you see that the child ‘drives’ himself, sit for lessons till night, or does not take his eyes off the book even at dinner - then you have to interfere and put strict limits: the time when any lessons are stopped. Don’t hesitate to use helping services, if you need help with science homework, for example. Lessons should not occupy the whole life of the child: he needs to play, and have normal sleep, and just to have a good time.

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