The "Homework Battle": Tween Years

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When I stumbled on tangietrull's question about how to win the homework battle with her 11-year-old, 6th grader, I thought of my own homework issues as a middle-schooler. Even though tangitrull said it, I'm sure "homework battle" is a term my mother coined. Back then I often felt distracted and only moderately interested in things (but strangely aware of myself). In homework speak that means I struggled. In tween reality it's called puberty.

Right at puberty's onset is when many kids start having an array of homework difficulties--lack of focus and interest, forgetting things they knew, fluctuating confidence--all on top of a plateload of significantly harder work. Some kids at this age even start hiding their assignments from their moms. (Not me, of course!)

If any of this is going on in your house, it would help to read the responses to tangietrull's question; there was a fair range of advice--everything from ways to discipline and punish, to ways to reward. Here's sample of the CafeMom wisdom...

"Make a huge deal out of the days that he does it on his own, or does it when asked the first time. Make his favorite treat or dinner or let him choose a movie or activity that is a reward. Next time he doesn't do his homework, he will remember that he was rewarded for doing it. My son had a horrible year last year, in 6th grade. This year he has mostly straight A's and is being rewarded by being able to participate in more activies than last year and knows that it's because he is doing things so well. It was a long road for us, but well worth it to see him succeed and forge his own path," says Cari14.

And moms, please offer your own wisdom around making it through the homework battle--any mother going through this needs all the help she can get!

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