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Homework belongs to the child. Assist as needed but be clear with your child that the work is theirs. In most cases, you can request a year long syllabus from the teacher so that you can plan ahead for assignments. Homework is one area where consistency and routine pay off! Schedule homework appropriately, alternating noisy and motor busy activities with periods of calm and quiet.
Prepare ahead of time for consequences and unforeseen circumstances. Contingency plans are useful, especially when your child wants to negotiate a privilege prior to fulfilling his or her agreement. "I will be happy to drive you to the store as soon as you finish your chores."
Make eye contact when speaking with your child. When you have your child's full attention, explain your position or give directions or make a request. When your child does not respond, remain calm and repeat the request once more. Be prepared to give a consequence.
If you tend to point or gesture, make sure you do it in a way that teaches the child what direction you want them to go. For some children, novelty is everything. Find an old appliance carton and cut it open. Let the child decorate the "walls" of the box and allow them to sit in their own "office" to do homework.
Whisper a request from time to time so the child must listen closely to what you are saying. Countdown. "You have five more minutes of play before we sit down to dinner." Again, this helps for smoother transitions.
"Noticing" in a positive, affirmative way what your child does well, including the baby steps toward goals, goes a long way to helping your child build confidence and obtain more of the desirable behavior.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|