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Is your child refusing to do homework? It’s pretty normal for kids to resist doing homework or show a lack of enthusiasm over doing homework. It’s easy to label the problem as simply laziness but, if you know your child, you probably suspect the answer isn’t that simple. As parents, finding ways to encourage a positive attitude towards homework will go a long way to ending regular struggles to get your child to focus on getting their homework done. It’s important to find out what is causing the resistance, especially if they have started refusing to do homework at all.

If they are refusing to do homework, understanding why is the first step to solving this issue. Once you pinpoint the reason, you can focus on the solution and take away the stress around homework for both you and your child.


Why is your child refusing to do homework?

The reason your child is resisting doing homework can be one of many different causes ranging from behavioural to neurological. Look at the following ideas and explore which of these could be an issue.


Your child may have undiagnosed learning challenges

If your child has a learning disorder that is affecting their ability to learn well, such as dyslexia or attention deficit disorder, they may naturally already be discouraged about learning. They have tried so hard and yet haven’t experienced the results their peers are getting. This can be extremely disheartening and, if not addressed, could impact your child’s attitude towards learning for the rest of their life. They may be feeling overwhelmed or that the homework task is simply impossible. As a result, avoidance is often the preferred response. If you suspect that your child may have learning challenges, consult your school and arrange for your child to be tested and diagnosed. Once you have the correct diagnosis, you will be in the position to get your child the help they need and you should then see improvements in their willingness to learn and complete homework.


Your child may have eyesight or hearing problems

Not being able to read what is on the board in class or hear clearly what the teacher is saying as they are teaching will naturally slow your child’s educational development. And when they haven’t picked up the concepts in the classroom, doing their homework will be a challenge they will naturally want to avoid. No one likes to be constantly reminded of their failures, even if it’s not their fault. Have your child’s sight and hearing tested to check if this could be the reason why your child is refusing to do homework.


Your child’s homework environment may be holding them back

The reason your child is resisting or even refusing to do homework may be something as simple as the environment they have to study in at home. Are they placed in an environment that has too many distractions for them to be able to concentrate on their homework? Are their family members around, making them lose concentration? Do they have younger siblings that are allowed to play while they have to study? Are they working while the TV is on or is content on the Internet pulling them away from their studies? Having your child study in their room alone without other people, the TV or mobile phone as distractions could be the only thing you need to change.


Your child has too much homework to cope with

Just like adults, children need work-life balance. They need time to wind down after school. They need an organised routine and a scheduled time in which homework should be finished. And they need sufficient time to sleep. Take a look at the amount of homework they are given to do every week. Is this amount realistic? Being overwhelmed by the amount of homework they have to get through may be the reason your child has started refusing to do homework at all. If you find that the amount is too much for your child to manage and not leaving them enough time to relax, play and sleep, speak to your child’s school about your concerns.


Your child has anxiety issues

You may not be able to pinpoint any reason for your child’s reluctance to study at home but you clearly see that having to do so is causing them distress. Your child may be suffering from anxiety brought on by the pressure to compete in school. It may also be the result of your child’s personality. If your child is a perfectionist, they may be overwhelmed by their own perception of how good their work has to be. This can add to the anxiety they feel and that nothing they do can make the work as good as they need it to be. If you suspect anxiety is the cause of your child refusing to do homework, talk to your child’s school counsellor for extra support and coping mechanisms.


There is always support and help on offer at your child’s school. The longer you ignore the issue, the harder it will be to turn homework into a positive experience for your child. Have your child go through the aforementioned tests to eliminate physical, behavioural and learning issues, and speak to your child’s teachers to get the extra support your child needs.

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