Help Your Child Through Homework Woes

Strategies for understanding how to help kids who are frustrated, bored, unmotivated. 

We used to go to school with a pencil set and a packed lunch, but kids today are inundated with homework even when in kindy. If your little one is can’t cope, here are some ideas:


#1 Figure out what the problem is. Kids have complex emotions but they often lack the clarity of thought and the language skills to express themselves.

To understand what’s going on, you need to do some digging. If you ask during homework time, you may just get tears, so set the scene for a comfortable chat. A good time might be when you are working on something interesting together, like a puzzle or setting the table.

Ask casually about school, what the teacher said about last week’s homework, and get a feel for how your little one sees this issue. Remember: show lots of supportive interest and don’t judge out loud! Your child needs to feel she can talk openly.


#2 If she’s frustrated, find out exactly where the hiccough in the process is. She may not understand what’s needed or she may be worried that it won’t be perfect. Either way, you can help. Explain what’s needed to complete the task in simple words, and reassure your little one that this is good to make mistakes. After all, if she knew it all, why go to school?


#3 If she’s bored, she’s not being challenged. You can appeal to her sense of logic by reminding her that the quicker it’s done, the faster she can do her own thing! You might also challenge her to do something extra, like make a painting to go with it. If your child is frequently bored, she may become unmotivated, so do talk to the teacher if the problem persists.


#4 If she’s unmotivated and it is not from being bored, she may dislike school. It’s vital that you figure out how she’s coming to this conclusion. Consider this may come from lack of sleep, being scolded by her teachers, being bullied or just generally being overworked. Whatever it is, talk openly and look for solutions the way you would for an adult.


About The Author, Ellen Mhyte

Ellen Whyte is a Scottish-Dutch columnist, author and feature writer living in Malaysia. She has several pen names including Maria O’Daniel, Angela Snow, Normanda, Storm Chase and AJ Adams. Ellen works directly with regional clients. These include popular magazines such as Cleo, Her World, and Women’s Weekly as well as national dailies such as Malaysia’s The Star and New Straits Times, Singapore’s Straits Times and Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post. 


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