Kids have a habit of following in the footsteps of their parents since that is where they learn the most from. So, if parents can set the right example for our kids to make learning a positive experience, they will grow up with the same values. Understanding the value of time, working hard and completing your chores – these are just a few ways that you can show your child the true meaning of hardwork and dedication to your work!
The same logic applies to homework as well. As a role model, if parents can show their kids that doing their homework is a good learning experience, then more kids will be enthusiastic in doing their homework and learning new concepts by themselves. Many parents use imaginary stories to make homework interesting at the beginning, so children can complete their homework happily. In our last blog, we covered the 2 R’s of the “2 rupees 3 paisa” concept. This time, we take you through the 3 P’s of the same concept.
1. Praise (P #1):
Praise your child for doing his homework instead of rewarding him!
There are many parents who confuse praises with rewards. The key is to motivate your child with praises, instead of offering them rewards for every job well done. If you verbally praise your child for their hard work, they will remember it and feel good about it. Later when they grow up, they will strive to work hard in their life to feel the same way they did when they were children and did a good job.
However, when you offer them rewards, they stop doing homework for the joy of it, and instead do it for the reward itself. So when they grow up, they will carry on the same behavior into their lives, i.e., they will need incentives to perform every task well. Without the right incentive, they will just not be motivated to give their best shot to any challenge, putting them at a huge disadvantage.
2. Power of Choice (P #2):
When your child does his homework on time, let him choose how to spend his time!
The second P in this concept is the power of choice, and with it, the power of consequence. If your child regularly does his homework and finishes it within the time lot provided for it, you can discuss with your child about how is it that they want to spend their time now that their ‘study time’ is completed. By giving children the power of choice, you are showing them that their choices are as important as yours, especially when they are being responsible and doing their homework. Next time your kid comes to you and tells you their homework is done, check it for mistakes, and later allow your child to choose how he wants to spend his free time, instead of forcing him to do something else, even if it is co-curricular activities.
Just like you give the power of choice to your children, make them aware of the power of consequence. Let them know that not doing their homework will have consequences, and explain it to them well. If in a week’s worth of homework, a few assignments are not done at all, or not submitted on time, tell your children that since they have not completed their homework as it was supposed to be done, they would now be facing the power of consequence. Their consequences could be anything from limited play time to zero TV time – anything that will help them realize that their actions (such as not doing their homework) have consequences (such as no TV for a week). This allows children to build a sense of responsibility in themselves, since they will have first-hand experience of the consequences of their actions.
3. Patience (P #3):
Remember to be patient while your child does her homework!
This last P is equally important for parents, and children. Just like children need to learn the virtue of patience to deal with the challenges of life later on, parents need to remember and teach the virtue of patience while sitting with their children for homework. With so many tasks piling up in your house, it is easy to imagine how you might get a little anxious and impatient for your child to finish their homework so you can check it and start your other chores. But for your child, this is a very new concept that they are trying to learn and understand by themselves for the first time. It is obvious that they may need more time than what parents are willing to give.
By complaining out loud about the time your child is taking to finish their homework, you are letting them know that their hard work is not as valuable as finishing the work on time using any methods available. Always remember that your priority is your child and his learning, but not his homework. Therefore, everything you do should be to ensure that your child is having a good time while learning new and exciting things.
Ask your child what he did at school every day, and if he got any homework that needs to be solved. When he tells you about his homework, respond with enthusiasm and interest instead of anxiety and anger. Ask your child to do the difficult part of his homework first, so that he can do the easy part later when he gets tired. You can also give him unique tips to remember spellings and form new words. After all, only parents know what works best for them and their children!