How to get a Defiant Child to do Homework

The best way to get a defiant child to do homework is to find out why he is defiant. Simple laziness is not  always the real reason why children resist doing their homework. Pushing  the child to do it against his will is not going to change anything, though lack of discipline could be an issue as well. Children can resist doing homework when it  is too hard, or too easy for them. It might  also be a strategy to get the attention from one or both parents. There also could be issues of conflict with the teacher. Whatever the case, it is important that parents find out the real reason  behind defiance and try to solve it.

All children initially have a natural curiosity and desire to learn, however, they might lose it if their individual educational needs are not met. Not all children learn at the same pace and the teachers often are not accommodating children in this respect.

When the child has certain areas of weakness in which he cannot keep the pace with the rest of the class, he will be most likely left behind. This creates deep frustration and feeling of failure. Additionally, if his parents strongly pressure him to bring high grades, it greatly adds to stress  the child is already dealing with and he gives up altogether by refusing to do his homework, or even  by trying  to skip classes. Therefore it is important that you as a parent keep the lines of communication open.

Talk to the child and to his teacher in order to find out what is really going on. Many children struggle with some learning disabilities, so a  test and counseling session with an educational psychologist might also help to pin point the problem.If your child struggles because of learning disability it does not mean that your child is not intelligent . There are many gifted and highly intelligent children who also have learning or cognitive disorders, such as dyslexia. A child like this can be gifted in math, but having struggles with reading and spelling. Not many people in general public, and even the teachers understand disorders like dyslexia. Children who struggle with it might be treated as “lazy” or “careless” by teachers, and be called “dummies” by other children. That is why diagnosing it might greatly help also to boost the child’s self esteem, and find needed support from the teacher.

 At the other hand there are  children who learn at much faster pace than most peers and get bored when they have to do the homework based on the material that they already mastered. These children are called gifted in modern psychology. They have high energy, but might be confused with hyperactive because they often get disruptive when bored.

Gifted children also might come across as arrogant  because of their self-confidence and self directed learning style. Everything they do must have sense to them, and they might approach subjects in unusual ways. However, if they do not have supportive enviorment their hunger for knowledge might be quenched and the child will often start to underachieve by refusing to do homework among other things. If your child has higher than normal energy levels, constantly asks sometimes very difficult questions, and learns things that he wants to learn even without adult help and yet struggles at school then he very well might be gifted.

In this case  an assessment from educational psychologist  will also be helpful. It might determine the level of giftedness as well as potential weaknesses, so that you might understand better his needs and the reason for defiant behaviour. This will also give your child opportunities to have his curriculum tailored to his needs. There are many great programs for gifted children in more, and more schools.

Change of the learning environment might be necessary to help your child do his homework.  Make sure your child has quiet enviorment in which to do his homework. Distractions are also many times the cause of uncompleted assignments, so make sure that the TV and the computer are off, unless of course the assignment involves a reaserch on  the Internet. Do not let him to do leasure activities such as playing games, until the homework is completed. Playing before homework  makes hard for a child to focus. This also teaches a valuable lesson that responsibilities should always come before play.

Some parents are so worried about their childrens’ marks that they almost do the homework for them.  These children might feel that they can get away from their responsibility since Mom or Dad always bail them out. If you ever succumbed to that temptation, then you must stop. Let your child get a bad mark for not doing their homework. It will teach him a life lesson that parents will not be always around to do their work for them. A little bit of reality discipline can fix the problem.

Another reason could be emotional need for attention. If the only time your child can spend with you is when he has not done his homework and you rush to help him just before sleep, then he will do it to you over and over again. Make sure that you spend some one on one time with him. Have a talk at the end of the day, or promise to to something fun together after  homework is done. If you do not have time to do it on daily basis, do it at least one day a week when you have the time off work.