What This Is Like from Your Perspective

You get why kids don’t want to do their homework. You might not have liked to do yours either. But the behavior that surrounds homework…

the complaining and whining that they have to do it

the procrastinating (if they’d just started, they’d be done by now!)

the sloppiness that comes as a result of trying to rush through it to get it don

…can drive you crazy! You don’t want to fight with your kids after school, and you don’t want to get into power struggles every day. But they need to learn to do their homework, and do it right!


What This Is Like from Their Perspective

For many kids, doing homework seems unfair. After all, they just spent all day in school! And for many others, doing homework actually requires skills that they just don’t possess. Homework requires them to

persist in monotonous (boring!) tasks, which seems natural to adults, but does not come easily to most kids

handle the frustration of WANTING to do one activity (read, play video games) and HAVING to more schoolwork after a long day of school

accept feeling out of control (they have no option except to do their homework when and how they’re told to do it)

They already know everything their parents tell them — homework is part of life, if they started sooner they’d be done sooner — but that doesn’t actually help them build the skills they need to act different.



How It Usually Goes When Your

Kids Have Yuck Related to Homework 


Scenario: Kristi has just gotten and is talking about her day. She seems to be in a good mood. When her dad reminds her that she has to start her homework so that she can make it to soccer practice on time, her mood completely shifts. 

Kristi (whining): I don’t want to do my homework.

Dad: Kristi, you knew you had to do it. We talked about your schedule this morning.

Kristi (whining): No you didn’t.

Dad: Yes I did. I told you that you’d have to start homework right away.

Kristi: I don’t remember.

Dad: It doesn’t matter. You still have to get it done.

Kristi: It’s so stupid. Just some math problems. I know what I’m doing. Why do I have to do homework?

Dad: Whether you know it or not, you still have to do it.

Kristi (whining): I don’t want to! I just want to relax a little.

Dad: Don’t we all just want to relax! That’s not what life is about.

Kristi: I know that. I just don’t want to do homework. I’ve been in school all day.

Dad: Kristi, you can’t always get what you want. You need to learn to be responsible.

Kristi: Stop it, Dad!

Dad: Just start your homework then!

Kristi (dragging her feet as she walks to get to her backpack): I AM!!!

Dad: Kristi, come ON!!

Kristi (starts yelling): You’re always so mean! You don’t even care about me!

Dad (rolling his eyes): Why do you have to be so dramatic? It’s just homework! You do it every single day…

Kristi and Dad continue to argue. Eventually Kristi does her homework, but her dad knows that the negativity is going to happen again the next day. 


How It Could Go (Better) When 

Kids Have Yuck Related to Homework 


Scenario: Kristi has just gotten and is talking about her day. She seems to be in a good mood. When her dad reminds her that she has to start her homework so that she can make it to soccer practice on time, her mood completely shifts. 

Kristi (whining): I don’t want to do my homework.

Dad: Why not?

Kristi (whining): I was just in school all day. I don’t want to do more school work.


Kristi’s dad can’t stand her complaining and whining. But he knows that if he focuses on that, he’ll lose his cool and that won’t lead to Kristi doing her homework faster. Instead, he focuses on staying calm, reminding himself that he doesn’t have to be controlled by Kristi’s behavior.

Dad: That’s true. You were in school for a lot of hours. I bet you’re tired.

Kristi: Yeah.

Dad: In a perfect world, what would you do now instead of homework?


Kristi’s dad just wants her to do what she’s supposed to do. But he knows that if he keeps telling her why his agenda matters more than hers, she’ll only be more resistant. So he attempts to get into her world with her.

Kristi: I’d get a snack… then ride my bike… then work on that collage I was making.

Dad: Oh that sounds like fun.

Kristi (hopeful): Can I do that?

Dad: Oh, I think you can do that AND go swimming AND go to that new amusement park and…

Kristi (realizing he’s kidding):  Dad.

Dad: Trust me, I wish we could do all the too. But no. You have soccer, so homework has to get done within the next hour.

Kristi: Can I wait to do it then? If we’re not leaving for an hour?

Dad: You know what? We tried that once and it didn’t work. So homework is now. But… I want to know what about it you hate so much. Maybe I can help you get through it.

Kristi: It’s just BORING!

Dad: Yeah, it is, isn’t it?! OK, let’s try this… Do 5 problems at a time. After each set of 5 you can tell me something about that show you were watching last night. I heard you laughing while you were watching…


Although he’s showing her that he’s on her side, Kristi’s dad still sets a boundary. He also focused on giving Kristi the tools she needs to be successful in meeting the boundary.

Kristi: But you’ve never seen that show!

Dad: Great. Then you’ll have a lot to tell me. Now go get your books. I want to hear!

Kristi (sighs): Fine.

Kristi walks to get her homework. Kristi’s dad notes to himself that he’ll have to have Kristi brainstorm new ways to get through her “boring” homework, since he knows he won’t always be around to help her. 



Although Kristi’s dad used Calm, Connect, Correct to handle this situation,
proactive tools will make all of the difference in how this situation plays out in the moment.

For him to stay CALM in the moment, he needs tools to reduce his overall Yuck and tools to handle his triggers….

Otherwise Kirsti’s dad will immediately go into Yuck and he won’t be able to focus on finding solutions that work.

For him to CONNECT in the moment, he needs tools to understand what’s causing his daughter’s negative behavior…

Otherwise he won’t he won’t recognize that there’s a reason Kristi is resisting homework so much…. Also, when Kristi senses that her dad isn’t on her side, she’ll focus more on defending herself than on doing the right thing.

For her to CORRECT in the moment, Kristi needs to know that her dad means what he says because he’s been consistent in the past.

Otherwise Kristi won’t take her dad seriously and will continue to resist, thinking that eventually she’ll get her way.