My Child Refuses to Do School Work: How to End the Battle.
Is that time in the afternoon when the struggles begin. Your child refuses to do school work, and the whole situation becomes a Shakesperian drama.
A power struggle to see who will win over who —and we all know they must do the homework assignments as a part of their daily routine—, but it does not have to be that way.
Of course, every child will prefer playing some video games instead of doing homework, but that does not mean the video games are guilty and that we should remove them completely from the picture.
It is common for parents to deal with a child who refuses to do school assignments with extreme methods, yet this often presents more problems than solutions.
The goal is to reach an agreement between you and your child. Also, you should try to understand the root of the problem since that will help us come up with better solutions. Here are some basic guidelines you can follow:
Ask yourself why this is happening.
When a child refuses to do homework on a daily basis, there is probably a deeper reason behind it than just being spoiled or lacking discipline. We should observe and ask ourselves:
Is the assignment too hard?
Is it too big?
Perhaps my child needs some extra reinforcement after school?
Why does this happen with some courses and not with others?
Does the child have some space built and dedicated to doing schoolwork?
Usually, feelings like frustration and anger are behind the endless struggles of a child who refuses to do homework. You can read more about how to deal with frustration here.
Try to answer all of those questions in your head. You first need to understand what the real problem is, and then you can follow some guidelines to smooth the situation. Depending on the school year, some strategies will help better than others. It is not the same for kids in elementary school or middle school as the ones in high school —oh, the lovely teenagers—
But rest assured that once you identify the root of the problem, the solutions will come easy.
Implement play breaks.
If your child struggles way too much to do homework, the play breaks can be your partner in crime to finally end the battle. If the assignment is too big or the math problem is too hard to resolve in one sitting, having 5 or 10-minute play breaks in the middle of the session can go a long way.
There is a reason why schools all over the world implement short recesses throughout the school day. Every time a child has time to engage in free play or just to talk with their friends, their cognitive capacities recharge. This leaves them ready to stay on task for the next 30 to 45 minutes.
This particular study concludes that when a child gets some breaks during the school period, their ability to stay on task increases significantly.
Here you can find another study that talks about the benefits of physical activity on overall cognition. They concluded that:
- “Evidence suggests that increasing physical activity and physical fitness may improve academic performance (…).”
- “Available evidence suggests that mathematics and reading are the academic topics that are most influenced by physical activity (…).”
As you can see, having a play break at home while doing homework can bring a lot of benefits to your children and help you end the battle of the ages.
If you add, on top of that, a playground from Spimbey, you have a formula for success.
Break the big task into small tasks.
Sometimes when kids refuse to do school assignments it is because the task is too big for them.
You have to put yourself in the shoes of your children and understand what they are going through. In your eyes, the assignment might look easy to do in one sitting, but for them, maybe it is way too much.
Divide the homework into smaller parts and add little breaks between each part of the task. This will smooth the attitude of your children and help them with the homework without too much struggle —no struggle at all will be like a dream: too good to be true—
Teach relaxation techniques.
Stay calm and taking deep breaths can go a long way when it comes to the daily struggle of doing homework.
A child will perform better and more efficiently if they are relaxed. The struggle to do the assignments can create a thick and stressful environment which will make everything a lot harder.
Besides the classic deep breaths, you can also add some yoga, meditation, and other activities that help with bringing calm to a troubled mind.
Do not forget about positive reinforcement.
Did your child struggle less than yesterday to do the school work?
Can you spot any positive change in the behavior around the homework time?
Every time your child does something good or favorably changes their conduct, do not forget to reinforce that conduct with positive compliments. Adults perform better in a positive environment, and children are not the exception to that.
At Spimbey, we care about all aspects of child development. We know the daily battles a parent must face raising a child, so we are here to bring you solutions and ideas.