My name is Dr. Erica Wollerman and I am a licensed psychologist in San Diego, CA. I work quite often with children and teens who struggle with homework completion. Often I give the following strategies and tips to their parents:
1. Offer an incentive for homework completion - It is always helpful if a child struggles to complete work to have something enjoyable to look forward to after they have completed it. This should be something contingent on work completion such as playing a board game, playing on their iPad or other devices, going to get ice cream, etc.
2. Set up a schedule that works for your child. Often kids who struggle with homework completion might need a break after school to help them decompress from the school day. Perhaps give them 30 minutes to do something else, grab a snack, and then the goal is to get right to work.
3. If it is hard for your child to get to work at home, consider having them complete work at a tutoring center where they complete their work and then either have fun or get to go home to have fun. Another idea is to bring them to a coffee shop to get a treat and do their work on the way home. This way they might not show all of their avoidant behavior because they are in public and on the way home.
4. Communicate with your child's teacher so that they are aware of the challenges and can help you hold your child accountable at school. If they do not complete their work the night before, perhaps they miss out on recess or something fun the next day to complete it. This way, the avoidance strategy does not work and they will hopefully do it less in the future.
Dr. Erica Wollerman is the founder of Thrive Therapy Studio in San Diego, CA. Thrive is a private psychology practice that supports children, teens, adults, and families specializing in Autism, ADHD, anxiety, relationship challenges, behavioral issues, academic and family challenges, and parenting. She can be found at Thrive Therapy Studio and reached via email at [email protected].
Love Dr. Erica’s ideas! Can’t wait to add them to my clinical toolbox!