The mother lets out an exhausted sigh. For the umpteenth time already she had to remind her son to get back to his homework tasks.
She decides she can let dinner cook for a moment by itself and walks over to the table. The lack of progress she observes on his paper provokes another sigh. “At this rate, you’ll never get finished,” she laments. “You know you won’t get dinner until the homework is done. So stop playing around.”
The boy wears a sullen expression on his face as he gets back to his task.
“It’s the same thing every day,” the mother complains.
“I can’t help it!” Her son shouts in frustration.
“If you’d take as much time working on your homework as you do making excuses, you’d be done by now!” She allows her own frustration to vent. Though, at the same time, she realizes that her reaction didn’t better the situation at all.
Once more, she sighs. This constant battle is beginning to wear on her.
If you are the parents of a child with ADHD, you’re probably familiar with this kind of scenario. Children with neurodevelopmental problems frequently have great struggles with completing their homework assignments in an organized and timely way. It seems that even the most simple tasks can create friction, arguments, and frustration.
Short of ripping out your hair, how can you stop this daily homework battle?
10 Ways to Ease the Daily Homework Battle
1. Have a Daily Routine
Children with ADHD are actually comforted by daily routines. If you get your child used to having a daily routine for everything else, it will be much easier to have them stick to a routine for their homework assignments as well.
2. Get Organized
Consider your child’s learning style – visual or verbal – and designate a place where all necessary items are kept. Consider having duplicate items to minimize frustration when something gets lost.
3. Make a Schedule
Schedule homework for a specific time each day, making sure you allow them enough time to complete their assignments. Put this schedule on a calendar and encourage your child to write down important dates – like project due dates. Involve your child in deciding what time to start homework and what to do first.
4. Select a Place
Help your child select an appropriate homework area. Make sure it has minimal distractions – avoid noise, clutter, and proximity to electronics. If your child works well with soft noise in the background, try playing some gentle music.
5. Give Advance Notice
Children with ADHD don’t shift easily from one activity to another. Give them a 15-minute notice before starting time so they can be prepared.
6. Break Down Assignments
Get your child started by assuring that they know what the assignment is and how to proceed. Have them focus on one task at a time and help them break down large assignments into smaller steps.
7. Motivate and Encourage
To help your child concentrate and focus better during the task, stay nearby and be available to help and answer questions. Kindly encourage them to go on for a little bit longer if their focus starts drifting.
8. Take Breaks
To help minimize sensory overload, you might want to let your child have a break before starting homework. Allowing for breaks and movement during homework tasks will also reduce frustration.
9. Praise and Reward
There’s nothing wrong with celebrating your child’s success – rewarding them with a special privilege. Giving genuine and specific praise for their efforts is a powerful and positive motivator.
10. Stay Consistent
Winning the battle with homework requires a solid commitment and consistency since it often takes months for a child with ADHD to have a routine become a habit. But it’s absolutely worth it!