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.
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.
Then follow the steps below to fill in your custom 4R Response Method plan. Instructions for each step are in italics.
Reduce Your Yuck Around Schoolwork
Take 10 minutes or less (don’t get bogged down on this!) and answer each question below:
- Why do I get triggered about this homework situation?
Consider what you’ve learned in the past about the importance of homework and what your fears of the future are if this issue doesn’t get resolved.
- How would my Parenting Avatar would address this situation?
Remember to focus on action you can take that aligns with your values and is in your control. If you could handle this schoolwork situation in a way that would make you feel proud, what would that look like?
- What FUEL do I need in order to get there?
What do YOU need in order to be able to align your response with your Avatar?
- What do I need to do in order to get that fuel?
Do you need to set boundaries? Enlist support? Or something else?
FILL IN YOUR PLAN:
RECORD YOUR ANSWERS IN THE “REDUCE YOUR YUCK”
SECTION OF THE 4R RESPONSE PLAN TEMPLATE.
Identify Schoolwork Roadblocks
Next, use this resource to 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.
Common roadblocks related to schoolwork are:
- We expect them to do what they’re supposed to do (complete homework thoroughly, turn in all assignments on time, etc.)… even when they struggle with it on a regular basis
- We expect them to “know how” to do their homework, but don’t realize that their executive functioning skills might prevent them from doing so
- They haven’t mastered the skill of staying engaged when a task is boring
- They haven’t mastered the skill of persisting when something is uncomfortable
- Being tired (biological Yuck) prevents them from doing homework right
- They feel like we don’t care that they hate doing homework (emotional Yuck)
- They feel like they don’t have control over when and how to do their homework (emotional Yuck)
FILL IN YOUR PLAN:
What are your child’s roadblocks?
IF ANY OF THE ABOVE ARE RELEVANT, RECORD THAT IN THE “IDENTIFY ROADBLOCKS” SECTION OF THE 4R RESPONSE PLAN TEMPLATE.
CIRCLE ONE ROADBLOCK YOU HAVE THE DESIRE & ENERGY TO TACKLE RIGHT NOW. FOCUS ON THAT ROADBLOCK IN THE LAST TWO SECTIONS.
Respond Effectively To Issues With Schoolwork
Now we’ll craft your ideal response for dealing with negative homework interactions.
FIRST, let’s remember what IS and isn’t in your control when you’re trying to motivate better school-related behavior:
What is NOT in your control in this situation?
Hint: Their choices about doing schoolwork, how they do schoolwork, their attitude toward schoolwork are not in your control.
What IS in your control?
Hint: How you perceive their behavior or attitude, how you respond to them, and the behavior you model are all in your control.
SECOND, answer these question to help you build a custom when-then statement for handling your schoolwork situation in the moment:
- What will you do to REGULATE yourself? This should be a story you tell yourself or action you take (a Yuck Release Strategy) that will reduce the threat of the situation in your mind.
- What will you do to show that you care about the ROADBLOCK you’re addressing? This can be done through words (stating their perspective) or energy (which comes from viewing them as having a problem, not being a problem).
- What do you need in order to let them ROUND the Yuck Curve? This usually requires you to not DO or SAY much. It’s about being present while not getting sucked into the Yuck.
FILL IN YOUR PLAN:
What will your in-the-moment response plan be?
RECORD YOUR ANSWERS TO THESE QUESTIONS IN THE “RESPOND EFFECTIVELY” SECTION OF THE 4R RESPONSE PLAN TEMPLATE.
CREATE YOUR CUSTOM WHEN-THEN STATEMENT.
“RESPOND EFFECTIVELY” RESOURCES
– Example: When-Then Statements related to schoolwork
– Script: Addressing homework-related Yuck
Build Your Schoolwork Routines
Finally, identify a proactive ROUTINE that will start to reduce the negativity around schoolwork to begin with.
Look back at the schoolwork Roadblock you circled in your 4R Response Plan and find the Routine below that addresses it. In many cases, you’ll also see a link to a resource that tells you how to create that routine!
Expectation-Based Roadblocks and Routines
⚠️ ROADBLOCK = We expect them to do what they’re supposed to do or “know how” to do their homework.
🔄 ROUTINE = Identify realistic expectations — ones that children have been able to meet in the past.
Skill-Based Roadblocks and Routines
⚠️ ROADBLOCK = They haven’t mastered the skill of staying engaged when a task is boring
🔄 ROUTINE = Teach them to focus in during boring tasks
⚠️ ROADBLOCK = They haven’t mastered the skill of persisting when something is uncomfortable
🔄 ROUTINE = Help them create a strategy to persist when uncomfortable
Yuck-Based Roadblocks and Routines
⚠️ ROADBLOCK = Being tired (biological Yuck) prevents them from doing homework right – OR – They feel like they don’t have control over when and how to do their homework (emotional Yuck)
🔄 ROUTINE = Use Joint Problem Solving to come up with a new plan for doing homework
⚠️ ROADBLOCK= They feel like we don’t care that they hate doing homework (emotional Yuck)
🔄 ROUTINE = Deposit into their “Significance” account
FILL IN YOUR PLAN:
NOTE THE ROUTINE YOU’LL FOCUS ON
IN THE “SCHEDULE ROUTINES” SECTION OF THE 4R RESPONSE PLAN TEMPLATE AND GRAB YOUR LINKED RESOURCE.
(You might also want to decide when you’ll work on this routine!)
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
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: