Is homework the worst time of day for you and your child with ADHD or autism?
Who else has homework battles with their child with ADHD and/or Autism… and would like it to be calmer, more productive, and quicker?
Is homework time in your home like a battle? With feelings of exhaustion, frustration, and lots and lots of yelling and screaming at the one(s) that you love the most? Have you ever braced yourself for homework time, like one would brace themselves before a crash?
It can be emotionally overwhelming for sure.
Many parents say that they feel like a drill sergeant yelling at their child, dreading every second of homework, questioning their own sanity, and wondering if a later dose of medication is necessary just to make homework more bearable.
3 tips to make homework time calmer, easier, and more productive
- Create an Organized, Distraction-Free Space for Homework: Clutter can destroy focus and productivity! Find a space in your home that is close to you, quiet, and free from clutter. Also, beware of distractions such as cell phones, tablets, television, games, people, etc. A distraction-free, organized work space increases productive, on-task behaviors. This can make a big difference!
- Allow for the Wiggle Room: Instead of continuously asking your child to sit down, sit still, and get back to work, allow (limited) space for movement. Some families get an exercise ball chair, while others just allow their child to stand at the desk or table while working. You can even implement movement in the homework activities. Use your own judgement here. Each kiddo is different. Allow your child to move a bit to help him or her focus better. For independent work, create boundaries for the child to move in, while remaining at his or her “work station.” For example, I’ve put painter’s tape on the floor, in a square around the chair.
- Start and Finish Homework with a Positive Attitude: Our moods can be contagious! If we are feeling angry, hopeless, and frustrated, our child will likely mirror our distress. This can result in disastrous homework time. It helps to take slow, calming, deep breaths beforehand and keep your own self-talk statements in check. Saying things like, “I will remain calm,” “When I am calm, it helps her to be calm,” “I will do everything I can to set myself and my child up for homework success, but I will not expect perfection,” “Trying your best is all that I expect of you,” for example, can make a huge difference in how homework time goes.
I would love to hear from you. What are some things that help homework go more smoothly for your family? Or perhaps, comment with something that you’d like to learn more about.