Let's talk about school issues. Whatever form of school you are currently participating in…..one thing is for sure…..there are times when very parent is asking “What am I supposed to do? My child refuses to do school work!”
Thank you to Licefreee for partnering with us for this conversation.
Ok, let's talk about it. You're probably here because you're at your wits end. We're a fair amount of time into the school year and…..the honeymoon is over. Right? Let me tell you, regardless of age and subject…..from practicing sight words to addition and subtraction to calculus……..every child refuses to do school work sometimes. Yes, it looks different for every kid but it happens. So let's talk about it. I promise, it's not as big of a deal as you're thinking. This is a totally normal part of school, and something that can usually easily be resolved.
My Child Refuses to do School Work….What Should I Do?
What is it and what does it look like?
School work refusal looks totally different from child to child. It can be silent refusal, throwing a tantrum, “forgetting” to do work constantly, choosing other tasks over and over again……usually it depends on the nature and personality of your child. But the one consistent thing? You're constantly finding yourself saying “My child refuses to do school work”. It just…..never gets done. Now, let's talk about solutions.
Why? And What Should I do?
There are usually four reasons that kids refuse to complete work. And once you know WHY it's happening with your child? It's pretty easy to solve.
Too Hard or Too Easy: The work is either……too easy or too hard. Either way, it's not fun or effective. So how do you know this? Ask your child to complete a small portion of their assignment (for instance 2 math problems out of the 20 they are assigned). Can they really NOT do the problems? Are they so easy that it seems silly? ASK THEM. Is this too hard for you? Is this something that is way too easy? The best solution here? A work adjustment. Too hard? Ask the teacher for scaffolding help (some extra support to complete the work) or an extension activity (something to make the work more challenging or appropriate).
Unclear on the Directions: May seem obvious but…..does your child KNOW WHAT THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO DO? You would be shocked at how many times this is the issue. Ask them to explain the assignment to you if they can. If they can't? Review directions together. Write out a step by step set of tasks breaking the assignment down into smaller steps.
Overwhelmed: Sometimes, it's as simple as………your child is overwhelmed. Is it towards the end of a long day? After a test or a lot of new material (which is harder to learn and master)? Or just……the end of the week? Overwhelm is real and it's important to teach our children to advocate for themselves and their emotional well being. My biggest suggestion? Working break cards into your daily routine in the future. This will allow your child to monitor their own needs and to ask for breaks as needed. But if you're already HERE? In the “My child refuses to do school work” place? And you think it's overwhelm? Just stop. Go outside. Watch a movie. Come back to the assignment later. Let your child know that you WILL be returning to the assignment at a specific time. Follow up and be sure you do that (set a timer if needed).
No Motivating Factor: Motivating factor is fancy teacher talk for they don't have anything motivating them to finish. They don't CARE. It's not a big deal to finish or complete a task. My biggest suggestion for this? Looking at ways to help your child CARE about their schoolwork (this reward system is GREAT). Remember it's important to give positive reinforcement for completing work (this can be as simple as PRAISE, a family dance party, or a sticker on a sticker chart) and working towards a reward or privilege can go a long way as a motivating factor.
Bonus Teacher Tip: Ok guys, this is a bonus and very important tip and also one of the tips I gave at Back to School night every year. I'm teaming up with Licefreee for this series on teacher tips and I wanted to be sure to tell y'all WHY. Here's the deal, no one knows more about lice than teachers. And guess what? At SOME point, your child will probably get lice. It's inevitable. It's part of the elementary school experience and nothing is worse as a parent than discovering it in the middle of the week late at night. The last thing you want is to be unprepared. So at Back to School night? I told parents to get a lice treatment and to keep it on hand. Trust me, this is a pro tip that you'll thank me for later when you're not running to the store at 9 pm.
Licefreee! was established in 1999 and before that? Lice Treatment options were pretty limited. They mostly were made of pesticides and toxins….so while those ingredients did treat lice, they weren't exactly something you'd want on your child's HEAD. After a LOT of research….Licefreee! was the created as a non-toxic, homeopathic lice treatment. Today they have a ton of options including a gel, a daily maintenance shampoo, and now, Licefreee!® Home. Trust me, you'll be happy you have these products on hand when needed. My suggestion? Stock up now.
So, did these teacher tips help? What questions do you still have about school work refusal?
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