I struggle on appropriate punishment for not doing his homework!!!

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Anna - posted on 11/16/2012

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I am facing problem with my son . He is 10 year old, he is in 5th grade. He is really smart and got into G& T when he was in 3rd grade. He started not bringing his home work. I tried all the methods I could think off. I took away his play time, cancelled paly dates and talked to him nicely. He didn't stop forgetting his home work. Getting compliant from teacher every day is really frustrating. I also tried by rewarding him when he has done good job. Nothing seems to work. He is very nice except this forgetting home work. He is very polite, gentle and well behaved. Please let me kwon if you have any suggestions

[deleted account]

Went to a wonderful workshop last weekend.. his message was.. :Discipline is not what you do when your child misbehaves.. Discipline is what you do to avoid misbehaving. I suggest.. instead of finding punishments.. you sit down with him.. and find solutions.. maybe:
-find a study spot.. to call his own..
-maybe start a journal for teacher and mom, or a communication method that works.
-Sit with him and make it a positive experience.
-Have a homework routine that never changes and that includes a specific time, a break and a snack.
I have an adhd son and i'm struggling with the same thing.. but making things easier for him to do his homework is a lot better than having to think up punishments and making it an negative experience. It should make it a lot more pleasant for both you and your son..
Hope this helps.. x

Carol - posted on 10/27/2009

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I find that a routine really helps. Letting them unwind for a while helps too. I know I like to rest or relax between jobs. School is their job so sticking them with another right away seems like a sure way to agitate them. My kids are in 1st and 4th so homework is still relatively easy. I stay in the same room and usually do dishes or get dinner ready so if there are any questions I can answer them. I also look over their homework after they're done and help them work through any mistakes until I believe they understand the material.



I disagree with some parents here saying that it should just be between your child and the teacher. YOU are their primary teacher. You are the one responsible for them when they leave school. Passing it off on the teacher is shirking your responsiblity to your kids and just being the good guy. Your kid might like you better but you're not doing them any favors in the long run. It also helps you to see how your kids are doing in school - where they need extra help or where they need to be challenged more.

Cheryl - posted on 10/25/2009

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Quoting Heather:

What we do in our house is that if homework is not done, then they lose the other rights of the house, tv time, game time, toys,ect. Then they also have to live with the consequences of whatever the teacher gives them, no arguments from mom or dad. They learned early that if they don't do their homework there is a penalty for it.

One other thing that works for us is that as soon as they get home from school, they use the bathroom, get to their designated area for homework and get started. I get them a snack and a small drink. This way they have no excuses for getting up and it gets done more quickly. Then when the homework is done they have the rest of the afternoon and night to play or do what they want to until dinner and bath. It helps because they relize when they do what they are responsible for, they have more freedoms.


I do pretty much this same thing. I have two boys in elementary school and they have homework everyday. they come home and they do their homework right away. They don't get todo anything else till it's done. Then if they don't have time to play then it's their fault for not getting their homework done sooner. If they need a drink I bring it to them and if it takes them long enough they get one bathroom break after they start.

Sally - posted on 10/24/2009

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Natural consequences-if he doesnt do his homework he will be in trouble at school.

My boy was the same-absolute nightmare every night then I was told by a well educated and experienced lady that homework is a contract between child and teacher. My headstrong boy learned the hard way if it's not handed in on time (regulary and without appropriate parental note) that he has to stay in at lunch time to complete it. Works so well!

Good luck-I know it's hard and can create lots of stress-talk to his teacher..

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Jaeda - posted on 11/17/2012

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I would definitely as a parent remove some of the things he loves such as games, et cetera. There's no need in allowing him to enjoy the things he loves if he is going to neglect the things he is responsible for doing. Simply make him aware that the only way that he can earn those things back is to do his homework and do well in school. You will see the improvement.

Barbara - posted on 11/16/2012

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My youngest son struggle to think what he had for homework. My oldest son looked forward to doing his homework so I never had a problem with him. I asked my youngest son why one day and he said he could not think of what he was supposed to do. I said where is your list so you will know what to do (he was 6) this is his first year. I was under the impression that the teacher was showing him how to make the list up when I looked at his journal from the school he put down the subject but did not follow up as to what he was to do. I talked to the teacher and she told me she did show him the first couple of weeks what to do and they it was his responsibility to follow through. So now I explain to him how important the list is and it is more easy to have a list of what is expected to him and that he would not have to think of what he needs to do. He is so much better now and is learning every day. I did not punish him for this of course because it really was just an misunderstanding of how to get started. Good luck and hope your son understands what he needs to do. Sometimes is all about understanding and then he could go forward.

Stacy - posted on 10/28/2009

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My 8 year old last year just wouldn't bring his homework home, he would throw it in his desk. I started taking away his play time. He liked to play the playstation everyday, so I took the playstation away for 2 days every one day he forgot his homework. Hestopped putting his homework in his desk.

Monica - posted on 10/27/2009

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I'm pretty tough on my son when it comes to his grades and homework. So to help we try and make the stuff he really enjoys a privalige. Like playing video games, watching t.v., having a yummy dessert after dinner and etc. In order to do or have any of these things he has to earn them so if he doesn't do his homework or comes home with bad grades he can't have certain privilages and that seems to work for me and my husband good luck!

Shelly - posted on 10/27/2009

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My 7 yr old son hates homework. Yet, when he sits down to do it, it only takes about 5-10 minutes to complete it. I have found with my kids that if I give them a snack when they get home and about 30-45 minutes of time to unwind, they fight me less about doing homework. We have a routine. We stick to it and adapt only when necessary. Get home at 2:25, discuss their days while having a snack until around 2:40, then bathroom and free time until 3:30, at that time homework starts no matter what they were doing before. I help each one as they have questions, but I won't do it for them. If they don't want to do it, I don't force them. I simply remind them that they must sit with their homework until it is done. NO soccer practice or game, no chorus, no playing, no tv, ect. Even if they have to sit in the car with their homework while a sibling is at a game or practice. They now know what I expect and they do their homework at the designated time, they even remind me that it is 3:30 when I get busy and don't notice right away. Routines are a must.

Kim - posted on 10/26/2009

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I have the same problem with my son who will be 10 in Dec and unless you want your child to have to deal with the consequenses at school, then just letting school deal with it won't work. I tried that approach and it didn't help, and I don't need him flunking 4th grade, really! I try to get him out after school because it gets dark earlier now and he can't go out after dinner and he needs excercise. But I won't let him use the computer and things until he is done but he will procrastinate. And do I punish the girls and not let them watch TV because he can't? He will sneak in there while I'm busy. I am so frustrated this year, for some reason he is being more stubborn and doesn't care that he loses out on the computer or DS. Sorry not much help but I wanted to let you know you weren't alone in your problem.

Janine - posted on 10/26/2009

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Usually if my son doesn't do his homework it means no playstation. Most times in the afternoon we have a routine which goes liket his, afternoon tea, a little play outside, start homework, then dinner/bath etc. then he is free to do what he wants. I think he has figured out that if he keeps delaying the homework it eats into his freetime and then there is no time left for playstation, reading, playing lego etc. I let him have a short play when we come home as he is only 7 and I think they still need a bit of a break to refresh after school.

[deleted account]

Maybe you could do a gentle tit-for-tat method. Homework done = afternoon TV, dessert, friend over, computer usage ... or whatever is the normal / preferred free time activity.

You could try leaving him alone and, later on, calmly explain 'no xyz today because your homework hasn't been done. You can have xyz the moment it is finished'.

I'm only looking at it from the outside seeing as we aren't that far yet ...

Good luck.

Susan - posted on 10/24/2009

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We set up a routine, time and place for homework as someone else suggested. Also either my husband or I will sit at the same table and do some of "our work." Could be paying bill, balancing check book, writing out grocery list, thank you notes, or reading the paper, so they know everyone has work to do, homework is theirs. Also being with them, we are right there if they have questions. My boys are 10 and 7. I also often tell them that I loved school, but forget a lot as it was so long ago, and ask them to teach me something they are going over in school. It helps them study without them knowing it, and they are proud about what they've learned. I usually pretend I didn't know anything about it, and sometimes I didn't : ) Lastly, I agree with the advice of letting them suffer the consequences of not doing their homework. I would contact the teacher to let them know what you are doing so they know you are involved and care. At our school, if you don't do your homework, you must stay in at recess to finish it. Try to stay calm though it certainly is frustrating, as you don't want to make homework time negative. Also instead of giving punishments, you could try catching your kids being good. When they DO their homework, give them a positive reward....play a game with them, read a book with them, let them do a priveledge (playing the DS in our house is a privledge). Good luck!!

Sylvia - posted on 10/24/2009

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How old is the child who isn't doing his homework? I think it's hard to advise without knowing more facts -- after all, a seven-year-old isn't the same as a fifteen-year-old (or whatever) in this situation ...

Is the amount of homework he has to do reasonable? Is he having trouble with it, or it's boring, or he would rather be doing something else? Whatever the problem is, it seems unlikely that punishing him for not getting the homework done is going to solve it.

It seems like a lot of parents get really involved in their kids' homework (and I've done this myself on occasion...) -- which doesn't really make sense given that the point of homework is for kids to practise what they've learnt at school. I think I'd be inclined to take a step back and let the consequences happen. I find that at my house, the more stressed I get, the worse my daughter's behaviour gets ...

Heather - posted on 10/24/2009

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What we do in our house is that if homework is not done, then they lose the other rights of the house, tv time, game time, toys,ect. Then they also have to live with the consequences of whatever the teacher gives them, no arguments from mom or dad. They learned early that if they don't do their homework there is a penalty for it.



One other thing that works for us is that as soon as they get home from school, they use the bathroom, get to their designated area for homework and get started. I get them a snack and a small drink. This way they have no excuses for getting up and it gets done more quickly. Then when the homework is done they have the rest of the afternoon and night to play or do what they want to until dinner and bath. It helps because they relize when they do what they are responsible for, they have more freedoms.

Jany - posted on 10/24/2009

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Maybe what is wrong with your child is not that he doesn't want to do homework. Maybe he either doesn't understand or wants attention from you. Sit with him or answer his questions if it seems like he is struggling. Also if you have other children try to spend 10 minutes every night just you and him talking or reading to him. You will see his negative reaction to homework will diminish with time. Good luck.

Gini - posted on 10/24/2009

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read the book- "A New Kid by Friday" I forget the author.... buy @ Books A Million/Barnes and Nobels...it addresses that and helps solve the issue.

[deleted account]

It was suggested to me to let my son not do his homework, but also dont let him do anything that he enjoys doing eg watching tv, playing etc, & when it came time to hand his homework in at school let the teacher punish him. I actually spoke to my sons teacher & now if he doesnt do homework he gets kept in at playtime to complete it. Give that a try & I hope it works for you.

Heidi - posted on 10/23/2009

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I think the bad grades and the not doing well on a test would be enough but I know that is not enough for some kids.... I think of school as a childs job, what would happen if you did not do your job...you would not get paid and therefore could not buy things....I would say no extra things for that child. If it is that bad and the child is young I would reward them for good grades which is a result in doing homework



Is there a reason why do they need extra help???

Jody - posted on 10/23/2009

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i've never had this problem, but whenever my children got in trouble at school, i made them write an apology note to their teacher....it made them realize that their teacher is a 'person' with feelings also...

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