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Thursday, 22 March 2001

Ten-Year-Old Hates Homework

Written by  Sylvia B. Rimm, PhD

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QDear Dr. Sylvia,
My ten-year-old son hates doing his homework and drags it out. If I don't push him, he won't do it, and when he does, it looks sloppy. His teacher estimates that each assignment should not be more than an hour. He takes forever, and it looks messy.

Should I make him sit there before dinner and after dinner until it's done? I work full-time, so I'm not at home with him and his dad to make sure it's getting done. Any tip would be helpful.

Any time you can praise your son casually as being a good worker will reinforce his belief that he has a good work ethic.

AA ten-year-old is capable of completing his own homework, although you surely can review it after he's done it to ensure he's doing quality work. Set up a time and place for regular study time. He can use a timer to monitor his own speed and try to complete it in the hour expected by the teacher. After he's completed the work and you or his dad has reviewed it, you can plan to play a special game together. He'll be much more motivated if there is something he can look forward to.

Also, any time you can praise your son casually as being a good worker will reinforce his belief that he has a good work ethic. Seeing himself as a good worker will also help relieve pressure he may feel about equating smart with easy.

If this simple, positive approach doesn't work, you may wish to have your son evaluated by the school or private psychologist to determine if he is having some academic or attention problems. If the work is truly difficult for him, you may need to take some other corrective actions or ask for more help from the school.

Dr. Sylvia

Last modified on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 15:01
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Sylvia B. Rimm, PhD

Sylvia B. Rimm, PhD

Dr. Sylvia Rimm is a psychologist and best-selling author with a national following. She is the director of the Family Achievement Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio, and is a clinical professor at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine.

Website: /images/stories/sylvia_rimm.jpg

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