How do I get my teen to do their homework?
Real Mom Problem
“How can I 'make' my teen complete his assignments without making this a homework battle? Is there a way to make this a positive situation so that he wants to do well?”
- 1. Make sure there are consequences associated with not doing homework, such as taking away your teen's computer or loss of other privileges
- 2. Moms say sometimes your teen has to learn the hard way why it's important to get good grades
- 3. Helping your teen get organized may help him stay on top of his assignments
Real Mom Solutions
Does your teen put off doing his or her homework? These moms can teach you how to get your teen to hit the books.
My teens do homework or I take their phone, or computer, or both, away. One zero per semester I tolerate. After that there are consequences. Homework is the root of good grades.
How about not being allowed to participate in extracurricular activities if he doesn't do his homework? I guess in their heads, kids justify knowing the stuff and acing the tests, so why bother wasting time rehashing what they already know. The thing is, colleges do look at all the grades, especially junior year.
We take privileges away if work isn't done, but we use rewards, too. You need to figure out what works for your teen. If it is loss of privileges, take everything away and he has to earn everything back. Or just reward right off. Find out what it is he wants, then make that the reward if he gets all of his work done. Every child is different so no matter how many teens you have everyone will require something different. The trick is finding what that ONE thing is... boy what a trick!
Let Your Teen Take the Fall
At this point your teen has got to understand that this is his life! If he doesn't apply himself in school he will only have to work harder later and that's his choice. When that time comes, as hard as it may be for you, do not show any empathy for him. In a few years he will be an adult and this is his practice run.
You need to let your teen fail. If he gets a bad grade that drops his GPA then he doesn't get to play sports and they will kick him off the team. After that happens all you have to do is say, told you so! Letting them fail or fall sometimes can open their eyes. Life is not waiting for them. They have to follow rules just like everyone else.
Help Your Teen Get Organized
Does your teen use an agenda or a calendar to keep track of his assignments and when they are due? That is a good start to being organized. Have you tried talking to him about how important it is to get good grades so that he can get into a good college? If he isn't able to grasp the importance and responsibility it takes to get assignments done on time and neatly, then you may have to consider punishments at home.
I ask the kids every night when they come in if they have homework, and set a time to do it (before or after dinner) at the table, so I can help and make sure they are doing it. Sometimes, you have to be strict and dole out punishments so they see the connection to doing their part.