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How can I motivate my child?


With some children, the use of natural or logical consequences alone may be sufficient. Not being able to watch a favorite TV program because the homework wasn't done in time is a logical consequence arises from dawdling over assignments. For some children, a failing grade is a natural consequence for failure to complete homework, and this alone will be sufficient to induce them to work. However, it has been our experience that parents should not assume that fear of a failing grade alone will be sufficient to induce their child to do his homework.

Parents should resist the temptation simply to punish children for their failure to do homework. While it may make sense to cut down on the number of outside activities or the amount of time their child is allowed to play with friends after school in order to allow for sufficient time to do homework, a system in which incentives are built in for homework completion will likely be more effective than a system of negative consequences alone. Most children who have problems doing homework are not happy about their situation or the fights they draw their parents into. Rather, it seems to take these children considerably more effort to get down to work and to sustain attention to homework than it does the average child. For this reason, it makes sense to reward them for the extra effort it takes.



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