My child does not want to do his homework: causes, advice

My child does not want to do his homework causes

Every evening, at homework time, does your child get angry? Explanations and solutions to help us approach this ritual more serenely with Nathalie Anton, psychologist and teacher.

Why does a child refuse to do his homework?

For Nathalie Anton, psychologist and French teacher who has also published No, your teenager is not lazy (Ed. Eyrolles), the refusal to do homework can just be due to tiredness. “For a child who comes out of a long day of school, coming home and getting back to work can be painful, he doesn’t want to, he’s tired”. Besides, homework is not that simple, she explains: “We believe that these are just exercises to apply what he has learned, but when he finds himself alone in front of his class, sometimes what seemed simple to him in class with the teacher is no longer so simple. Going from theory to practice is not always easy, especially since at the end of the day it is less concentrated. ifhe is having difficulty, the time for homework will then give him the impression of not getting there. Or do it feel under pressure, feeling that his parents or his teacher expect too much of him. As a result, to guard against it, he resists. If there is one conflict with his teacher, the impression that whatever he does, he does not appreciate it and will always give him bad grades, this also risks demotivating him to get started. On the other hand, unconsciously, hanging around doing homework allows the child tograb his parent Longer. Even if it’s not quality time, it’s confrontational, it keeps the relationship going. Finally, reluctance to get down to work can also quite simply reflect a desire of the child to do something else : play, call friends, relax.

“homework is not that easy”

Some prefer to get started directly on their way home to get rid of them, others prefer to enjoy a decompression chamberrelax a bit in the park or in their room before getting down to it”, notes Nathalie Anton. If she remembers that he is important that the child have a snack before, she suggests not to wait too long otherwise, it may be difficult to get started then. However, it is not a question of oppressing him from the outset by asking him if his homework is done. “The snack time will also allow the parent to relax before accompanying him in his homework. It will avoid unloading the nervousness and frustration accumulated during the working day on the child who becomes a lightning rod with his homework”, she observes. And for good reason, anger, stress or fear are not favorable emotions for learning. We therefore strive to remain as calm as possible and not to enter into a balance of power. Moreover, there are children who expect this balance of power to be able to justify the fact of not doing their homework, because during the conflict, the parent can end up throwing in the towel.. On the contrary, we try to show him that we trust him, for example by leaving him, if he wishes, to do his homework alone from time to time, and then checking that it has been done.

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Nothing helps, he opposes? “In a situation of tension where the child does not want to do his homework, what can work is to tell the child that we take note of his refusal and that we are going to warn his teacher. Indeed, getting into a tug of war with his parents might be normal for him, but bringing the teacher in could suddenly make him flinch.” We also of course wonder about the reasons for his refusal.. Maybe he feels incompetent because he can’t do it on his own. “Parents tend to think that after a certain age they can manage, but that’s not always the case,” recalls Nathalie Anton. They still often need to be verified, even given a hand or questioned. And we don’t forget to encourage and congratulate him to boost his sense of competence. In passing, he is reminded that the goal is not for him to get a good grade, but that by dint of learning, it becomes easier. So, “he will integrate that the work provided at home has benefits on his understanding, on his memory”, she notes. Finally, so that doing your homework does not turn into a nuisance, there are strategies: let him choose to start with his favorite subject or vice versa. Him do quizzesand for the youngest, their buy equipment that makes them want to use it. Last important point according to Nathalie Anton: if homework is to be done, it is made to be wrong. “When I give my students homework, I don’t wait for them to come back with the perfect answers. We will correct together and I will thus realize the gap between what I I learned during my course and their understanding and to be able to work with them again”.

“We don’t forget to encourage and congratulate him to boost his sense of competence”

Should we punish a child who refuses to do his homework?

“The homework, there is every evening. And we will not be able to punish your child daily, if he refuses to do it”, believes Nathalie Anton. She suggests instead to talk with him to find a solution and that he agrees to get started. So we start by asking him about the reasons for his refusal. Does he experience any difficulties? Is he tired? We can also discuss with the school, because it can be a source of solutions.

Can refusing homework hide a problem of school phobia?

And if this refusal to do one’s homework reflected the beginning of school phobia ? “School phobia is very complex, but, the refusal to do can reflect something about the relationship that the child has with his teachers and with the school“, concedes the psychologist and teacher. “It is natural for a child to learn, therefore, when suddenly learning is blocked, that he no longer has the desire, it is important to understand why”, she adds. We dialogue with the child and if necessary, we make an appointment with his teacher to find solutions.