When it comes to helping young children with their homework, many parents' patience flies out the window. Your child may have a hard time sitting still, concentrating, or understanding new or difficult topics. Keep in mind that if you show that you fear the homework process, your child will feel the same way. Learn to be patient with your young child while doing homework by using helpful techniques to prevent frustration, create a workable system, and help him learn to work independently.
Method 1 of 3: Deal With Your Impatience
Step 1. Close your eyes and count to 10
Impatience can haunt you when you want to help your young child do his homework. In these situations, you can use techniques to help you stay calm in the heat of the moment. Before getting irritated with it, just close your eyes and count to 10.
If you need more time, leave to "go to the bathroom", even if you don't need it
Step 2. Breathe to calm yourself
Deep breathing is a great exercise to practice in moments of impatience. Also, you can do it anytime, anywhere. Take deep, cleansing inhalations through your nose for a few seconds. Hold your breath for a second. Then slowly release the air through your mouth.
Try deep breathing when you feel impatient and watch yourself relax and regain control. Focus on bringing the air into the abdomen, not the chest
Step 3. Repeat a mantra
Reciting a calming phrase out loud or in your mind can help you control your anger or impatience before things get out of hand. You can say something like "This too will pass" over and over again until you feel better able to deal with your child calmly.
Step 4. Offer reassurance during a tantrum
Young children are more likely to have tantrums when dealing with difficult topics. The reasons range from being hungry to tired, but some just have them when they don't want to work hard. The trick to defusing a tantrum is not to get nervous or get drawn into a fight.
- Try to be calm and relaxed during the tantrum. This will help your child calm down sooner. Place a hand on his shoulder or back to offer reassurance. Ignore his defensive behavior and refuse to say anything until his attitude changes.
- For an older child, consider leaving the area or room.
Step 5. Schedule breaks
Young children have a hard time focusing on their work after a long day at school. Schedule breaks for you and your child to use the bathroom, have a snack, or collect yourself after a very difficult task.
- It may even be helpful if you allow her to do other after-school activities before starting homework in the evening.
- Identify what works for your particular child. For example, you may need to be physically active before starting homework, or you may need short, active breaks.
Step 6. Do your jobs
Try to model good attention and concentration skills by taking care of your work while your child does homework. This helps set a good example that even parents have homework to do. Also, you will be less impatient if you use your child's homework time to do something constructive.
- You can pay the bills, write the grocery list or menu for the week, or read a book during homework time.
- This will also help keep the environment calm, since both of you will be busy with a task.
Step 7. Seek help for a struggling child
If you find yourself becoming impatient on a regular basis during your toddler's homework schedule, you may need a boost. Some parents just have a harder time helping and guiding young children who don't know how to study properly.
- If your impatience is due to the work being too difficult or time consuming, it may help to talk to your child's teacher to cut down on assignments or be more realistic about assignments.
- If you can't explain the concepts your child needs to understand or the child is having a lot of difficulty, consider hiring a tutor with experience in that area or have your child evaluated for possible learning disorders.
- If your child has older siblings, see if they can help him. The concepts will be fresher in your mind.
Method 2 of 3: Develop a System
Step 1. Work together to determine a plan
You can preserve your patience on homework schedule by making sure you and your child are on the same page. Sit down with him and talk about what he has to do for the school year. Then make a plan so that you can complete assigned tasks and cover another important skill set within the specified time frame.
- Think about what has worked in the past or might have been helpful for their siblings at that age.
- Include your child in the plan, talking to him about when he prefers to do homework and what resources are most helpful to him.
- Make sure they know what to expect each evening regarding the homework schedule.
Step 2. Be consistent
You and your child will be less likely to get frustrated if you know what to expect. Set a consistent schedule for homework on weekdays and weekends. Try to respect it as much as possible. In this way, your child will have a structure regarding his work schedule just like at school.
Step 3. Pick a place free from distractions
Especially for young children, homework time may require a lot of guidance. Put him in an environment where you can supervise his work. The place should be quiet enough for you to concentrate.
- A popular place in many homes for homework is the dining room or kitchen table. Make sure the space is well lit, has all the necessary items, and is free from distractions like the TV and toys. Ask family members to stay away during homework hours whenever possible.
- Avoid snacking during homework time. Save them for before or after tasks.
Step 4. Suggest dividing the tasks
You and your child will be less likely to become impatient with large projects if you break them down into more manageable chunks. Plan homework for each night (or week) and ask your child what he thinks is the best way to break up big assignments.
Working on one aspect of a project at a time reduces frustration and builds confidence as they move forward
Step 5. Use helpful study guides
If you don't have a natural talent for teaching, you may find it difficult to explain new concepts to a first grader or preschooler. Reduce the chances of getting impatient with your child by having practical guides on hand to help them learn new topics.
- Find out what skills he's learning and find books, toys, and videos online to assist him. Search the internet for useful resources with educational videos on various subjects.
- Each child has his or her own learning style, so using different learning methods could help a child who learns better through hands-on or listening approaches.
- Attend parent orientation night to better understand your teacher's expectations for homework. You can also take the opportunity to ask any questions you have.
Method 3 of 3: Encourage Your Child's Independence
Step 1. Encourage him to try first
Young children are used to their parents rushing to help them when they are confused or afraid. Make sure this doesn't become a habit during homework time. Your child may need you to read the instructions, but let him first try to complete any problems on his own.
- If he asks for help, say "Let me see how you try first." If he asks you a question about something, say "What do you think?"
- When reviewing what they have done, do not review and correct all their work. Make sure you understand it and suggest that you review it. However, never correct his work for him. Teachers need to measure your child's understanding, not yours.
- You can also review the assignment after the teacher checks it and marks the corrections.
Step 2. Make suggestions, but do not provide the answers
While educators believe that parental involvement is essential for students to flourish, they note that children whose parents offer the most help tend to perform lower. Show him how to learn on his own, instead of overworking and doing the work for him.
For example, show him how to use resources to check his work or find the answers
Step 3. Praise their efforts
Children need to see that their parents are proud of their accomplishments, so be sure to congratulate your child on their positive efforts with an assignment. You can also display their art projects or excellent test scores.
Step 4. Offer less help and more space over time
As your child begins to learn to do homework, slowly reduce the time you spend assisting him. Allow her to develop some autonomy with the task.
- Back off a bit and allow her to come closer when she has questions. Review your work only when you are done, rather than during the time you work. Also, give him more physical space by taking your work to another area or allowing him to work in his room or elsewhere.
- However, allow it to be in the general area or to see how it is on a regular basis. Children work best when they know their parents are around.