How to get your child to do assignments without a fight.
Story: Carol Tuttle
When it comes to your child’s homework, do you beg, plead, or bribe? Do you threaten consequences? You can make homework easier for both you and your children with some simple tips to honor their natural energy. Every child has a dominant energy type that determines the way they move through life. It affects everything they do: playing, talking, eating, sleeping. And yes, it even shows up in the way they do homework. Ready to take the struggle out of homework? Here are tips for the four types of children:
THE FUN-LOVING TYPE 1 CHILD
These bright-minded children think quickly and like to move. Their thought process works like snapshots of ideas, so engaging in a linear experience can be challenging for them.
• Pre-homework playtime. If your child attends a traditional school, they need time to do something light and free before jumping into homework. Let them come up with ideas of what they’ll do—that will give them something to look forward to during the structured experience of school.
• Homework jumping. Allow them to jump from one activity to another. That’s how their brain works anyway. Extra movement of things going on in the background is actually helpful for them because it allows them to disconnect from their homework and then connect again.
THE DETERMINED TYPE 2 CHILD
These active children move swiftly and like getting things done. Their natural speed can be a challenge when it comes to detailed tasks that they feel are tedious or pointless.
• Help them see the point of it. These children will do homework when they see the point. If they don’t see it, they’ll try to get around it somehow. They’ll pick the grade they want and do as much as they have to do to get it done. Help them see the practical purpose.
• Make homework part of the extracurricular fund. Money is a great motivator in the type 3 world. If you plan to pay for extracurricular activities, you could attach a money value to finishing homework and put the money toward a sport or lesson they really want. You’ll be spending the money anyway, and they’ll enjoy the feeling of accomplishment as they work toward an activity they really want.
THE SENSITIVE TYPE 3 CHILD
These subtle children work methodically and are great with details. They are naturally quieter, so speaking up about what they might need can be a challenge for them.
• Planned routine (one that they plan). These children do best when they have a plan that they have made themselves. Which steps will they follow to get things done? You can ask this at a very young age (5 or 6 years old) as type 2 children are already thinking this way.
• Invitation to connect. Type 2 children often want their parents to recognize the work they’re doing without knowing how to ask for it. Take a second to connect with them while they’re working and invite them to share with you.
THE MORE SERIOUS TYPE 4 CHILD
These focused children are self-motivated. But if they’re not respected for who they are at school, they’ll buck the system. It will look like rebellion, but it’s really just their attempt to stay true to their nature.
• The respectful phrase. These children feel offended when you tell them what to do because they’re aware of their responsibilities. Try this phrase: “Looks like you’re doing great. Let me know if you need help.” Let them come to you, which they will, if they think they need help.
• Ownership of a space. Set aside one consistent place where they can take ownership at the same time every day to do their homework—not the kitchen table. If possible, get them their own desk or a place that’s separate from where everyone is moving around.
Parents, here’s your homework assignment to end the homework struggle for good: Set the intention that you and your child are experiencing ease and enjoyment as you support them in their homework. It’s possible and you can start today
About the writer:
Carol Tuttle is CEO of Live Your Truth and author of the best-selling parenting book, “The Child Whisperer: The Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, Cooperative Children.” For more information, visit thechildwhisperer.com.