Persistence is key to helping your child develop the homework habit.
“Even ordinary effort over time yields extraordinary results” (Keith Ellis, p. 74). The buck stops at you. In my experience it is also often the adult, the family coach (you) who forgets, doesn’t feel like it, is too tired, too busy, has a crisis to deal with etc.. Yes, your child might resist doing homework with you for a while, but it is your response to that resistance, or to anything else stopping you from doing homework with your child that decides whether the homework happens or not. I enthusiastically encourage you to keep homework happening as regularly as you can through the hard times, and to keep your enthusiasm for homework up (even if you have to fake that). It takes a few weeks to form a new habit.
To form the homework habit – allow ten weeks. Your child’s resistance will melt away over time as you consistently use the strategies suggested in my blogs and in my coaching manual. Many of the family coaches have realised that they were the weak link, not their circumstances nor their child. They were the ones who actually stopped coaching.
Family coaches also regularly tell me that the joy and pleasure they now feel when doing homework with their child and the respectful, easy, deepening relationship they now share, was worth keeping going through the hard times. “Begin today what you regret not having done yesterday and you will avoid that regret tomorrow” (Keith Ellis, p.73).
- Treat yourself as your own best friend and be kind and clear with yourself. Take a long hard look at your own priorities and your weekly planning. Be very honest with yourself about why you are not helping your child with their homework, but stay kind too. It saves large amounts of your time and energy to be both kind and clear with yourself so you don’t feel guilt about what you haven’t yet done for your child.
- Remind yourself that new habits take time. Habits have tremendous gravity pull. Lift off takes tremendous effort (Covey, S., 1994). New habits take time. Every habit you own (good and bad), you formed by doing something over and over again until it became second nature.
- Have no regrets for past mistakes. Every day is a new day. When you haven’t done homework with your child organise to do it soon. Regrets cost energy, so instead of regretting, organise when you will do homework with them the next possible day.
Don’t be part of the problem – become part of the solution,” Stephen Covey (1995). Spend time thinking about what your limiting factor. Is it a skill, an attitude, a habit? What most limits you working with your child? What factor once changed will make something else fall into place so that homework is possible and easier? Design your plan to overcome your limiting factor and schedule time for homework into your diary or onto your calendar. Write your schedule down somewhere you will SEE it often. For more on planning homework check out these blogs.
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