How to Stop your Kids from Getting Distracted While Doing Homework

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For most kids, homework doesn’t hold a candle to playtime or the joys of freedom. Why would they want to practice math, write a report, or study history when enticing distractions are scattered all around them? In their minds, playing gripping games on an iPad, watching their favorite TV show, or spending time with neighborhood friends are all much more appealing options.
Can you blame them?
There are many things in life more interesting to a kid than homework and parents everywhere continually struggle to motivate their children to get schoolwork done. It can be an ongoing and rather frustrating battle, but it is an important one.
There are real benefits to teaching kids a form of structure, and most often, the homework their teachers give them is purposefully in place to aid the learning process. So, instead of giving in to your child’s stalling, frequent excuses, or blatant avoidance when it comes to homework, try altering how you approach the subject and help them to create an attainable routine.
Below is a list of parental hacks that can benefit you (and them) in the long run, so you don’t have to spend your evenings fighting fires or losing your temper.
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Parental tips for homework motivation

1. Create a routine around homework

Establishing a routine is extremely beneficial for kids and they thrive on structure. If they’re aware certain hours or days of the week need to be dedicated to homework and you make it clear that’s the case, they are more likely to adhere to the rule. Even if it takes a while for them to adjust and give up the argument, eventually it will become a natural part of their week.

2. Speak positively about what they’re learning

Positivity uplifts everyone, and kids are no different. If you frequently speak to them about the subjects they’re taking and the topics they’re learning about, you can help them to feel inspired by what they’re studying. It’s essential that they feel you’re invested in their success too and share an interest in the things they’re being educated on.
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3. Make homework interesting

Look for ways to incorporate what they’re learning into everyday life and find a way to make it interesting. Some of the homework they have may be bland, but there’s always a way to make it appear more compelling. Whatever the subject, look for unique ways to change a dull project into an exciting one.

Help them with their homework

Often, kids feel overwhelmed about what they’re learning and don’t voice their feelings to their parents. When this happens, they tend to feel unenthusiastic about the task. To avoid this, keep on top of their work and get involved. Help them when they’re struggling or need a second opinion and make yourself available. Like adults, many kids also work well in groups, and your input can make a big impact.

Speak to their teacher(s)

If your child knows that you’re in touch with their teacher, they’re more likely to complete the homework, as they’ll ponder your disappointment if they don’t finish it. Also, if you speak to their teacher regularly, you’ll be up to speed on their productivity both in class and out of it. And the next time they say they’ve finished their homework; you can know for sure whether that’s the truth or a tall tale they’re spinning.
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Choose the right location

Much like at-home offices, a comfortable and convenient place to work directly influences productivity. Depending on your child’s personality, find a comfortable and central place in the house for them to do their homework or make sure their room is fitted with a proper chair, desk and computer. The more at ease they are with their ‘homework office’ the likelier they’ll want to spend time there.

Reiterate the consequences

Set clear and firm boundaries around homework time, but don’t be unreasonable. Kids deserve to be kids and they certainly shouldn’t spend all their free time studying, but if they aren’t listening to your rules, let them know that there are consequences.

What to avoid

  • Bribes
  • Getting overly angry or frustrated
  • Being too strict
  • Using homework as punishment
  • Giving in to laziness
  • Being a micromanager
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For as long as homework has existed, parents have found it difficult to motivate their kids to do schoolwork. Either it doesn’t happen on time or there’s a slew of clever complaints. And to be honest, there’s not really a definitive rulebook that will solve all your problems, but any of the above tactics can certainly help.
Don’t be afraid to try different methods either. Every child is their own unique person, so find out what works best for them and their pattern of behaviour. Collectively and with a little change here and there, you will find a bright beautiful light at the end of the tunnel. And with luck, homework disagreements will fade into the past… mostly.

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