Sometimes it's difficult being a parent, especially when a tug-of-war of wills between you and your child becomes battle that no one seems to win. Often the conflict arises as your child is given homework assignments that must be completed. Thirty minutes worth of math, a book report, or memorizing spelling words stretches into hours, as parents struggle to understand how to end the hostilities. Children often don't understand the benefits of doing homework and want to know "why" they have to do it. One strategy that works well is creating a reward system for kids. By creating incentives for engaging in a homework routine, which involves setting up a reward system for kids, your child will have a goal to work toward, tasks to accomplish, and a reward at the end to look forward to.
The Importance of a Routine
Set a routine and follow through to establish a pattern. Experiment with times and schedules. Your child might be more prone to sitting down immediately after school, or, perhaps he or she needs a break and prefers to do homework later. Flexibility shows your child their wishes, as well as what works best for them, are taken into consideration.
Creating a Reward System for Kids
Creating incentives for your child to complete homework is an excellent way to motivate your child and encourage him or her to take responsibility.
Reward systems can be as simple setting up a fun activity such as watching a movie or playing a game, or it can be more elaborate with charts or a point system so your child can earn privileges.
As you're creating your reward system, here are four things to remember:
- Discuss the new reward system with your child. Allowing input on how it can be done will give your child a sense of importance and accountability.
- Create a system with small steps that are easily accomplishable. This gives your child positive reinforcement for a job well done.
- Monitor your child and confirm that the reward system is working.
- Positive reinforcement works best, meaning rewarding them for meeting expectations.
Occasionally, your child still might resist the homework and the reward system. In cases like this, it might signal a bigger behavioral issue that needs to be dealt with by a professional. Although sometimes it's difficult to acknowledge that there is a problem, ignoring it could make it worse.
If you suspect your child has a learning disability or behavioral problem that underlies difficulty with completing homework, call us to schedule an appointment with Dr. Grisolano at the Grisolano Center for Neurodevelopment.