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how to get an oppositional child to complete homework

Posted May 24, 2013 - 8:14pm
My child refuses to complete his homework. I have tried to give consequences, offering rewards for work completed and he still refuses to do homework.

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I agree with Robert Brooks in the video above. I would also talk to his teacher to see how he's doing in school. Find out if he is falling behind, or is ahead of the others? Find out more about why he doesn't want to do homework. Set up a meeting with the teacher to brainstorm solutions to his refusal. How does it impact his grade if he doesn't do his homework? What is he missing out on? You can put in place a policy that he can't watch TV or use the computer unless his work is done, and then give it a week to see what happens. Arguing and yelling isn't the most effective approach. I have a feeling that being curious about what's going on will lead to insight and results.

Sandy Blackard
I have to ask, why does he refuse? When a child refuses to do homework, above all else it's time to listen to what the child is saying or what his/her actions are telling you. Is the work too hard or confusing? If so, a fear of failure could make it safer not to try. Is the work too easy or unnecessary for his mastery of the subject? Is the refusal a statement of some kind that he hasn't been able to communicate to you or the world in any other way? Is it a request for help of some kind? Does homework interfere with something else he also needs like self-directed time or time with friends to hone social skills? Children tell us so much when we listen with sincere interest. When you both know what is driving the behavior, it will be much easier to work out a way for your child to meet his needs inside the boundary of completing homework. And when he knows you are on his side, you'll get cooperation, too.