How to handle homework meltdowns
This article was first published on KSL.COMQuestion:
As a new school year approaches, I am noticing the dread of homework time again at our home. My son, who is still struggling to read, can be having a great day and when I just say the words "It's time for homework," it turns into such a battle and it's hard to know where to push and not let reading be such a negative thing. Do you have some tips for homework time and how I can manage it better?
This is a tricky one because your stubborn child knows you can’t force him to think, write or read. You can force him to sit at the table, but you can’t force much more than that. So force isn’t the way to go.
The most important thing is that you don't lose it. A child in meltdown will trigger your two core fears: failure and loss (failing as a parent and losing a child who is headed for failure in life). You must stay in trust about your value and in trust with your classroom journey of life if you are going to help your child. Remember that your value isn’t on the line here, and this isn't the end of the world, no matter how bad tonight is.
I am going to address some common homework meltdown, power struggle, and discouragement issues though, and give you some advice for each, but the very first thing you must do (if your child is struggling with homework) is find out if your child has any kind of learning problem.
If the homework seems too hard, his reading comprehension seems low or he has trouble with math, it could be a serious disability or even a minor learning style difference. If you suspect this kind of problem, have your child tested and ask the school to help you set up an education plan that works better for him. You could also explore how he learns best on your own. Try teaching him using different methods (visual, verbal and experiential) and see which one he relates to. There is also an article I wrote back in 2012 on tips for starting the school year right you may want to read.
Here are some common problems and tips for battling homework fear.
Also remember that each night’s homework is a lesson (in your classroom of life) and another opportunity to practice being wise, mature and loving. You won’t always handle it perfectly, but you will always get another chance to practice tomorrow.
Just keep working at it — and you can do this!
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is also the author of the new book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a coach and speaker.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.