In many houses, during the school year, the afternoons are monopolized by a single activity: homework.
It’s getting home from school, having a snack, and doing homework until dinner. This activity ends up involving us all, also adults, who spend the afternoon waiting for our son to finish to be able to do any other activity.
Sometimes this excess time spent on homework is due to the amount of tasks they bring home, but many other times, this excess time is due to the fact that our children are distracted by other things and take a long time to finish them.
If you think that your child may find himself in the second situation, we suggest that you put into practice some strategies to help him.
Set a schedule for homework
Something that usually works very well is setting a schedule for homework. But how can we know how much time our child should spend on this task? The founder of Relax and educate Amaya de miguel suggests that, faced with this situation, “Let’s talk with our son’s tutor and ask him how much time he should invest in doing homework. If he tells us one hour, allow him to stay one hour, with about 10 minutes to spare. Most children, if they do not have any difficulty or learning disorder, are able to do their homework in the time that the teacher considers, the problem is that they entertain themselves with other things, they get bored, they get distracted and they look for any excuses to do another activity. ”
Therefore, if this is your problem, the solution may be to put a limit on the time your child can dedicate to homework. And you may be wondering: what happens if he does not finish them? Well, “the next day he will take them half, but quickly he will learn to organize himself and not be distracted to finish them,” Amaya tells us.
Find out if you have a problem and need help
If the problem is that your child does not understand any subject well and, consequently, does not know how to perform the exercises that are sent to him from school, the recommended thing is to go talk to the tutor and inform him of the situation. Homework should be activities with which our children reinforce what they have learned in class, that is, they practice exercises that make them master the subjects better, but obviously they have to come from school with a sufficient basis to be able to do them.
Encourage the habit of study
For a rule to be fulfilled it is always necessary that we make it a habit. Thus, for example, we can have as a rule at home that we always brush our teeth after dinner. At first, it will be a rule that our children must comply with, and in order for them to do so, “we will have to be present, reminding them of it, but there will come a time when they have internalized it so much, that they comply with it even though we are not there to remind them, we simply they will have become a habit “, tells us the psychopedagogue María Helena Tolosa. And this is what we have to achieve with the study habit. Many of the children who find it difficult to get home and do the work they have to turn in the next day in class, what happens is that they do not have the study habit installed.
Create a good study environment
Are more children at home playing while one of them is doing homework? Are there even some with the TV or music on? Something that helps children to focus on homework is creating a favorable climate at home, in which there are no major distractions. To get this peace You can help us close a homework and study schedule for all the children in the house, in this way, neither will disturb the other. Another good way to encourage our children to do homework is “by sitting close to him to finish work reports, or to carry out any activity that requires concentration. In this way, we will be generating a sense of team and alliance with them,” he says. the teacher and author of the book ‘How to prevent conflicts with adolescents’ Alejandro Rodrigo.
Mistakes we make to get our children to focus and do their homework
Often, to reverse the situation, mothers and fathers resort to all kinds of strategies. There are three very common ones that don’t work. Take note:
Punishments and rewards
We are very used to rewarding what we consider to be good behavior by our sons and daughters and punishing the wrong ones, and this strategy may work for us in the short term and our son or daughter ends up paying attention to us, but what he is really learning is that the only The reason for, in this case, doing homework is to receive a reward or avoid punishment. At the end of the day, as the psychologist Alberto Soler says, “if our children follow the rules just out of fear of retaliation, the moment we turn around, they will stop following them”.
Label and compare you
When there are several children in a house, sometimes we tend to make comparisons: “your brother has already finished, and you, who started earlier, are still there.” In this sense, Alberto Soler reminds us that “Comparisons distance siblings, foster competitiveness among them and make them rival more than being part of the same team. But not only the negative comparisons, also the positive ones (how nice that you collect everything, not like your brother), because in a comparison there is always an offense towards one of the parties, no matter how much the intention is to praise one of them ” .
“Comparisons between siblings generate competitiveness”
Do homework for him
Sometimes we make the mistake of finishing their homework for us to have it done the next day. “The duties are put by the teachers to the students, not to the parents of the students, although sometimes we forget”, Alejandro Rodrigo tells us. It is important to remember that if we want our children to be autonomous and responsible, we have to let them do their homework and take responsibility for their actions. Therefore, doing our children’s homework hurts them in the long run.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.