How to Get Your Teen to Do Their Damn Homework

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Raising teenagers is tough. They still depend on you for their day-to-day needs, but they also have minds of their own — so while you can push them in certain directions, there’s only so much you can do if they refuse to do something. When it comes to schoolwork, you can tell them the importance of working hard and set an example for fulfilling commitments, but if they refuse to study or do their homework, your options are limited. Of course, you can take their phone away or prevent them from seeing their friends, but chances are they’re still chasing them (and ruining your relationship in the process). What can you do when a teenager refuses to do their homework?

There is usually an underlying reason

In general, most children, including teenagers, want to do well. However, if something bothers it (e.g. confusion with the directions, difficulty with the subject matter, or a problem with their ability to concentrate) it can lead to a situation where they feel it is easier to just refuse than to admit that they fight As parents, it’s our job to figure out what’s really going on, even if all you get from them is monosyllabic replies and eye-rolls.

“We have to be curious as adults to find out what’s underneath,” said Elaine Taylor-Klaus, the organization’s founder influence parents and author of the book The essential guide to raising complex kids with ADHD, anxiety and more. What looks like rejection on the surface could be a teenager turning off because they’re being asked to do something that feels too big, difficult, or impossible, to the point of refusing to do the work, even with the consequences involved, as that appears easier option. “Ambiguity can really turn our kids off,” Taylor-Klaus said.

This can be especially the case if they have a history of feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable about asking for help, whether it’s seeing their classmates complete the task with ease, a teacher who wasn’t particularly helpful, or Parents who are too are far from work to remind themselves how difficult it can be. This can also be true when a teenager is a perfectionist, as not doing something feels less scary than doing something wrong. “Not doing homework is a symptom,” Taylor-Klaus said. “We want to find out what it’s a symptom of.”

If your teen is having extreme difficulty with math or reading, or is having trouble staying focused or organized despite their best intentions, then it’s a good idea to speak to their pediatrician to see if they need to be checked out dyscalculia, dyslexia, ADHDor other treatable disturbances. When the problems stem from an underlying disorder, diagnosis and treatment offer strategies that can help support their specific needs while providing much-needed context to their struggles.

Teenage independence occurs in four stages

When your child reaches their teens,They come to a point where it is time for them to take responsibility for getting their work done. As Taylor-Klaus often advises parents, this process of gradual self-reliance has four phases: Phase 1 is director mode, when the parents have the agenda; Phase 2 is the collaboration mode where parents and children work together to solve problems. Phase 3 is supporter mode where children find solutions to problems while parents offer support; and Stage 4 is cheerleading mode when parents stand on the sidelines and cheer on their kids on.

As Taylor-Klaus notes, a parent-teen relationship often switches back and forth between the collaborative mode and the supportive mode, depending on how much support they need for a particular relationship Task. “We want to solve problems with them, help them succeed and be part of their own solution,” said Taylor-Klaus. “Our tendency as parents is to just throw them a solution.”

If your teen is struggling to complete his or her schoolwork, helping them out may require working together to see what the problems are and how to solve or support them by offering to provide support for any solution they have identified. This could take the form of an organizational system to help them stay on track and providing them with additional tutoring in a subject that helps them.Having problems or checking in with them regularly to see how they are progressing and offer whatever support they need. It is important that they are actively involved in their own success. “You have to feel like you belong,” Taylor-Klaus said.

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