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In my last blog I went through rather briefly what goes on during homework time. We all accept how hard a time it is for parents. My job now in this blog is to give practical tips which may help. Now, obviously, my techniques are not the only in existence, and I am quite sure that you or other parents manage this time in different ways. Discuss with your friends the methods they use. Try them. It is beautiful to share ideas, as long as these are not abusive or overly harsh in any way.

The best techniques I have found to helping children finish their homework (and it sort of helps also during meal times) is to devise a game to make work speed up a bit. I would close my eyes and count from 10 to 1, betting the child that he cannot have it ready in time. Obviously, if s/he does there must be praise and exuberant celebrations.

But if nothing works, simply take the homework away half finished. It is important to give your child a timeframe to finish their work. If it is not finished simply send the child to school to face the consequences by the teacher. I understand that many parents fear that they will be held liable for sending their kids without homework. Sometimes we are afraid that we may be seen as bad parents if we try out this technique. But this is not so. Communicate with the teachers and let them know why you do the things you do. Trust me, teaming up will help.

– steve@willingness.com.mt