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Helping Children with Executive Functioning Problems Turn In Their Homework

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❶Somtimes kids just start to get annoyed with doing what seems like silly tasks.

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Why Isn’t My Child Motivated?

In a way, your child must own the importance of doing well himself. Some kids seem to be motivated and have a good attitude and seem to do well without much effort. It just seems to come naturally. When you think about it, not every kid asks teachers for help, does all their homework on time all the time, reviews the material they learned each night and puts aside all the other distractions to get down to their studies.

This plays a significant role in school achievement. It helps with the regulation of emotions, attention span, perseverance, and flexibility. For many kids, their executive functioning often does not develop until much later in the adolescent years.

This is particularly tough if you are a parent who was responsible and motivated at an early age, but you now have a child lagging behind.

Of course, if you start believing these things about your child, you will simply get annoyed, frustrated, angry, and reactive to their laziness—which will contribute to the power struggle and to their to their defiance. This will allow you to be most influential with them, which is your most important parenting tool. Punishing, preaching, threatening and manipulating will get you nowhere and will be detrimental to your relationship and to their ultimate motivation. Your feelings of anxiety, frustration, and fear are normal and understandable.

But reacting to your kids out of these emotions will be ineffective. Remember, your child is not behaving this way on purpose to make your life miserable or because they are lazy good-for-nothings. Remember, your job is to help them learn how to be responsible. If you get negative and make this a moral issue, then your child might become defiant, reacting to you instead of thinking through things himself.

When you practice shooting hoops every day, you start making more baskets. You get paid after you work at your job. Enforce this rule and stick to it. If your child does not yet have the ability to plan and initiate and persevere, by sticking to this rule, you are helping them learn how to do what their own brain is not yet equipped to do, which is to create the structure for him.

You might decide that he must spend a certain amount of hours devoted to study time. During this time, no electronics or other distractions are allowed. You might make the rule that even if he finishes all his homework, he must complete study time by reviewing, reading, or editing.

You might make the rule that he devotes an hour-and-a-half to quiet time, no electronics, and just doing his work. Some kids do better listening to music while they study, but no other electronics or multi-tasking is recommended. He might have to check with them to make sure he has everything before leaving school and then check with you before going back to school to make sure all his work is in his bag. She may need a quiet location away from brothers and sisters or she may do better in a room near others.

You can help her experiment. But once you find what works best, keep her in that location. Decide together whether or not it will be helpful to your child for you to help him break down his assignments into small pieces and organize on a calendar what he should get done each day.

You can get him a big wall calendar or a whiteboard. Try your best to be a parent who is kind, helpful, consistent and firm versus punitive, over-functioning and controlling. For every negative interaction with your child, try to create ten positive ones. Try to put the focus on supporting and encouraging him instead of worrying and nagging. When you start to believe his grades are a reflection of you or your parenting and that you are responsible for his outcome, you will be on his case—and it will be harmful and ineffective.

Most people have anxiety about doing certain things and avoid them like the plague. This will stir up your anxiety. When you react to it by yelling or criticizing, your child will manage his anxiety by distancing from it—and from you—more.

Your job and how you will be most helpful to him is to not react to his anxiety or your own. Often the cover up for these vulnerable emotions can take the form of acting out, shutting down, avoidance, and defiance.

Others do better when they organize the homework by subject. If the teachers have set up a system that does not work for your child, talk with them about allowing alternatives. This can also be done as part of a formal individualized plan, like a plan.

However, repeated performance of a behavior is what makes it a habit; once the behavior is automatic, then the burden is lifted from the executive system. Teach the use of tricks and technology that help compensate for organizational weaknesses. Cell phones often have an alarm function, as well, that can be set for reminder alarms.

Few problems are as frustrating for parents and kids as not receiving credit for homework that was actually completed on time but never turned in! One tried and true behavioral strategy to remedy this is to link an already established habit to one that your child needs help acquiring. To illustrate, Ivan is a seventh grader who forgets almost everything - except his peanut butter and jelly sandwich!

With daily reminders from his parents, he puts his homework folder on top of his lunch in the refrigerator before going to bed each school night. Reprinted with permission from pp.

Sponsored Links About these ads Consumer Tips. Walk through the process with the child Walk through the process with the child.

There are many different ways that someone can get off-track in the process of getting homework from home to the teacher. Talk through the process with the student.

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he could not do his homework help May 20, I am going through hell with my son. He is twelve, and no matter what I do, no matter what my wife or my oldest daughter do, he won’t do his homework.

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