Battles over homework too often drive a wedge between parents and their children with ADHD. Many times these ongoing conflicts give a child with ADHD a distaste for learning and send parents to bed at night wondering, “What are we doing wrong ?” The following tips are dedicated to creating happier homes, where children are free to fall in love with learning and parents no longer dread homework battles.
Tip #1: Set aside a time for family learning. This is a time for your children with ADHD to do their homework and for you to model the value of learning by enjoying a book. The best way to create a love of learning in your kids is to show them how much you enjoy it.
Tip #2: Avoid homework battles by offering choices. Research shows children with ADHD are more likely to do their homework if they are given many small choices. For example: • Would you rather do your homework right after school or wait until four o’clock? • Are you going to do your homework in your room or at the kitchen table? • Are you going to do all your homework right now, or are you going to do half now and the rest after dinner?
Tip #3: Spend most of your time noticing what your child does well. DO NOT focus on what your child does wrong! Successful parents spend their energy on noticing what their child does well. They can say things like• Show me the very best letter you made today. You really worked hard on that! • Look at that math problem. You got it right!
Tip #4: Help only your child when they really need it. There is nothing that creates more homework battles than parents who “help” when help is not needed.You can try asking: Would you like some ideas on that, or would you like me to leave you alone? Your child’s desire to do it alone is a very healthy sign of independence and responsibility.