Your 4R Response Plan:

Addressing Issues With Schoolwork

Follow the 4R Response Method to create your custom plan that will help you to effectively address issues related to schoolwork.


Watch this video to learn how to make the most of this resource

Download Your 4R Response Plan

Click here or on the graphic below to download the 4R Response Plan template that you’ll complete for dealing with schoolwork issues in your home. 

Watch the videos below for ideas about what to consider at each step. You’ll also see a summary of my suggestions below the video. 

Questions? Come to the 4R Response Method Practice Sessions or fill out this form to ask questions! (I’ll answer forms in the live practice session and email the recording to you.)


REDUCE YOUR YUCK Around Schoolwork

It is especially important to reduce your Yuck around schoolwork because 

  • if you approach them from a place of Yuck, the situation will go worse
  • if you don’t believe you can handle this situation, they won’t believe they can handle the situation.

Here are some examples of how you can reduce your Yuck by reducing the threat.

The behavior is not a threat because

  • your child’s behavior makes sense given that they likely have lots of Yuck related to schoolwork (it’s boring, they’ve likely had negative interactions about it with you and teachers, etc.) and they don’t have great ways to cope with the Yuck
  • many, many others have successfully navigated situations like this before

You can handle it because

  • One action that is in your control is  to focus on your relationship (how you communicate, how you care about their perspective, how you deal with your Yuck instead of taking it out on them).. and your positive relationship will impact your inflence

Instead of believing this behavior is bad and using willpower to address the situation, use your Avatar to think about how you want to handle it! 


RESPOND EFFECTIVELY To Issues With Schoolwork

Now we’ll build your response when dealing with negative homework interactions.

Responding effectively is about managing Yuck, and there is probably a lot of Yuck — not just about to this situation but also Yuck accumulated from past interactions related to schoolwork. 

First, you want to make sure you have a when-then statement to address your own Yuck. Obviously this statement is personal to you.

When creating a when-then statement for responding to your child, you might want to

  • see them by truly getting into their shoes and caring about their point of view
  • teach them by suggesting a strategy to handle boring assignments

If they’re too deep in Yuck, neither of these strategies will work… and you might need to get firm so that they travel the Yuck Curve.

Once they have traveled that Curve and they know there’s still no out, they’re much more likely to do what they have to do.



– When-Then Statements: Responses related to schoolwork

– Script: Addressing homework-related Yuck 

– Script: When your child resists doing homework after school (but has to)


Identify Schoolwork ROADBLOCKS

Now let’s identify WHY your child isn’t able to do what they’re supposed to do with their schoolwork.

Remember that roadblocks are usually related to your Expectations, their missing Skills, or their Yuck.

How our expectations cause roadblocks

  • We expect children to just do their homework without considering the many executive functioning skills that they haven’t mastered yet
  • When children don’t just do their homework, we try to enforce boundaries from a place of our own Yuck. 

Some skills they are missing that cause roadblocks:

  • The ability to persist when something is boring. (At that point, most children will get distracted or try to avoid the task.)
  • The ability to handle discomfort in a mature way.

Yuck they may have the causes roadblocks

  • Feeling out of control
  • Feeling like we don’t care about their point of view; we only care about ours
  • Being hungry or tired

Remember to choose ONE roadblock that you have the desire and energy to tackle now. You can come back to the others later!

Build Your Schoolwork ROUTINES

Let’s identify a proactive ROUTINE (that you can take action on!) that will start to reduce the negativity around schoolwork to begin with.

Consider these routines to address the roadblock you choose:

Expectations-based Routines

Yuck-based roadblocks 

  • ROADBLOCK: They feel like they don’t have control over when and how to do their homework
    ROUTINE: Use Joint Problem Solving to come up with a new plan that gives them more control 
  • ROADBLOCK: They feel like we don’t care that they hate doing homework
    ROUTINE: Deposit into their “Significance” account 
  • ROADBLOCK: Child is hungry or tired
    Routine: Use Joint Problem Solving to come up with a new plan for when to do homework 

Skills-based roadblocks

  • ROADBLOCK: Child hasn’t mastered the skill of staying engaged when a task is boring
    ROUTINE: Teach them to focus in during boring tasks
  • ROADBLOCK: Child hasn’t mastered the skill of handling discomfort maturely
    ROUTINE: Help them create a strategy to persist when uncomfortable 


Sample Completed 4R Response Plans for Schoolwork

Want some examples? Check out these completed plans:

– Sample 4R Plan: Son complains about homework rather than doing homework

– Sample 4R Plan: Daughter rushes through homework

Extra Resources

If you’ve got your plan, but want to learn even more strategies for what causes this behavior, and how to deal with it, I’ve included videos and podcast episodes for you below:

Video: How to Teach Kids to Do Boring Schoolwork

Video: Reducing Negativity Over Schoolwork

Video: Negative school-related behaviors are often simply under-developed executive functioning skills

Podcast: Motivate kids to do homework by teaching tools


Past Questions from the Facebook group

Want to see what other parents have already asked about getting a child to do homework? I’ve linked to some past FB threads below (feel free to weigh in!)

When your child lies about having homework

Handling homework stress

Homework is boring

After-school routines

When a child resists a tutor