Looking for Homework Tips For Parents of Children who Intentionally Don’t Do Their Homework?

Looking for Homework Tips For Parents of Children who Intentionally Don’t Do Their Homework?

Barb is a single mom.  She leaves work, rushes to pick up the children from after-school care and then home to start dinner.  Once dinner is started, she begins asking about homework.  Her teenager says “I’ll do it later.”  Barb says, “You need to get started now because your sister has a soccer game tonight and there won’t be time later.”

Her ten-year-old pulls the homework out of her bag and complains, “I’m not good at math.

Homework Tips For Parents of Children Who Intentionaly don't do their Homework

I’ll never get these problems done by the time we have to leave.  They’ll just be wrong anyway.”

Her eight-year-old sees how the other children act and wants Barb to spend time with her, too, so she “acts stupid.”   So the homework hassles begins, with Barb nagging and battling her children over their homework.

Are there Homework Tips for Parents of children who present different types of homework challenges? 

In Barb’s example, each child has a different reason for not doing their homework.  She has a power struggle with her teen, a ten-year-old who has given up, and her youngest likes the attention she gets when her mom helps her.

While there is not one response that works in all homework situations, there is one plan you can follow that leads to an individualized response for each child.

First, you need to figure out if why each child is having homework problems.  Is it because they lack skills or are intentionally stirring up problems? If the child lacks skills, you can get some tips for over-involved Homework Helpers.

If a child is capable of doing homework independently but seems to be intentionally creating problems, one of the best homework tips for parents is to figure out what purpose, goal or payoff the child receives from not doing homework. According to Rudolf Dreikurs, whose teachings have been shown to be effective in over fifty years’ of research, children only misbehave on purpose for four reasons:

  • To get Attention
  • To have Power
  • To get Revenge
  • Because they have Given Up

So, what are some homework tips for parents, to effectively handle each situation?

  1. Children might “act stupid” so teachers (or parents) will pay attention and spend time helping them. If the parent/teacher involves the child in meaningful activities or spends other special time with the child, it can prevent or stop this behavior.
  2. Children might want to prove that they have power, by refusing to cooperate. “You can’t make me.” They also might see if they can get others to take over and do the work for them. After all, if others will take responsibility why not let them?
  3. Children might not do homework to “punish” a disliked teacher. If good grades are important to parents and children want to hurt them, getting poor grades can be revenge. Help children find more appropriate ways to resolve the problem with the parent/teacher.
  4. Children may not do their homework because they are so discouraged they have given up. Give encouragement, not praise that pressures, and help them break down assignments into smaller tasks to solve. Children who have given up on school are experiencing a deeper problem. Listen closely to identify the real issue. This is what needs to be resolved. Have children brainstorm possible solutions. You may enlist professional guidance, if indicated

The two key homework tips for parents to remember are (a) you need to identify and resolve the “real issue” that’s causing the problem and (b) do this in a way that teaches children how to solve their own problems.

To get additional homework tips for parents of children who are struggling in school due to a lack of skills, check out the article Are You Doing More Homework Than Your Children? What Can Homework Helpers Do To Halt Homework Hassles?

Do you want to stop the power struggles and tears of frustration at homework time?  Do you want your children to use positive behavior to reach their goals, instead of misbehaving?  If so, get the 7 Keys to Parenting Success free ebook.

This article gave you one piece of an effective parenting plan you can learn to plan a helpful response to any challenge that is custom-designed to your and your child’s needs. When you get the 7 Keys to Parenting Success free ebook, you will learn the whole plan, so you can prevent and redirect any type of intentional misbehavior issue.

The best part is, the 7 Keys to Parenting Success ebook is free!  So what are you waiting for?  Discover the secrets to preventing and stopping intentional misbehavior by taking the 7 Keys to Parenting Success ebook!


Jody Johnston Pawel, LSW, CFLE is President of Parent’s Toolshop® Consulting, where she oversees an international network of Toolshop® trainers. For 30+ years, Jody has trained tens thousands of parents and family professionals worldwide through her dynamic workshops and hundreds of interviews with the media worldwide, including Parents and Working Mother magazines. She is the author of the award-winning book The Parent’s Toolshop®, and countless multimedia resources that support and educate parents from diverse backgrounds, plus other adults who live or work with children. You can find them at her award-winning website, www.ParentsToolshop.com.

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1 thought on “Looking for Homework Tips For Parents of Children who Intentionally Don’t Do Their Homework?”

  1. Pingback: Are You Doing More Homework Than Your Children? What Can Homework Helpers Do To Halt Homework Hassles? | Parents Toolshop

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