How can I help the homework stress before it actually becomes full blown homework stress?
To reduce stress for our kids, we have to a.) respect that it’s stressful (instead of having a “suck it up” attitude) and b.) give them the tools that they’re lacking.
Examples of tools:
If it’s overwhelming, they’ll need help breaking it up into smaller parts. This is usually best done AFTER they’ve had a break from school, and it should be done by asking questions, not giving orders.
If it’s boring, they’ll need helping figuring out how to engage themselves in the assignment. This may mean walking around if they’re trying to study, or using mind maps or incorporating colors into assignments.
ACTION TO TAKE:
Sometime when they’re NOT stressed (this works especially well when they’re feeling connected to you):
1.) Talk to them about what homework is like for them. Just listen. Really try to see their perspective.
2.) Tell them that since it has to get done, you’d like to come up with a plan to make it bearable. Ask for their input. You can offer suggestions (like the ones I mentioned above), but they will be less resistant if they are the ones coming up with the plan.
3.) Ask them what they want YOU to do if they’re not following the plan.
4.) Set a time to revisit the plan in a week or two to make modifications if necessary.
How can I stop the building of yuck about homework (as we are walking home from school for example ). It seems the anticipation is almost the worst part.
On the walk home. I’d actually engage them in conversations OTHER than schoolwork. Ask them to teach you about something they’re interested in. Or play a special “walk home from school” game or have a ritual. Let them focus on that instead of what they’re walking into once they get home.