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You may not find 'homework meltdown' in the dictionary, but millions of parents know exactly what one is:
- A fit or tantrum brought on when students are overloaded, exhausted and overwhelmed by homework.
- Students simply fall apart and are unable or unwilling to understand or finish their homework.
As if a distraught and upset child isn't bad enough, homework meltdowns affect the entire family. Everybody's afternoon and evening is ruined.
Believe it or not, some students have a homework meltdown night after night, year after year! Tears, crying, yelling, fighting, pleading- this is what these children will remember about about their childhoods and school.
Homework meltdowns are not inevitable, and parents should not tolerate anything that brings such negativity and ugliness into their homes. Before we discuss how to deal with meltdowns, ask yourself these questions.
2 Questions About Homework Meltdowns
Do They Happen Often? Everybody- including children- has a bad day now and then. A meltdown once in a blue moon is no big deal. Write a homework note to the teacher, and send your child to bed early.
If your child is having homework breakdowns on a regular basis, there is an underlying problem that must be solved. Is their homework too difficult? Is there simply too much of it? Is your child doing her homework at her 'best time?' Discover and support your child's Homework Personality to stop that homework meltdown in its tracks!
Are They Real? Oh, those kids are smart! It takes them about half a second to figure out what works and what doesn't. If they pitch a homework fit, and you make it all better (no homework, an ice cream, etc.), who can blame them for trying it over and over again?
How to Prevent Homework Meltdowns
When it comes to preventing homework meltdowns, students need a homework situation that supports their homework personality PLUS these three (3) things:
Sleep Study after study (and teacher after teacher) will tell you that sleepy students do not learn as well- or as quickly- as students that are well-rested. Many meltdowns are the result of chronic sleep deprivation. Those babies are tired! Make certain that your child is getting enough sleep every night.
Time Off Can we give these kids a break, please? They go to school all day, and then we expect them to sit down and do more work at home. It's too much! Not only do they need a break every day, they should have a break from homework on weekends and holidays as well. (Please don't tell me that students had better 'get used to it.' Adults don't get used to working all day, bringing work home and working on vacation.)
Regular routine If homework happens at the same time, place and duration each school day, it becomes less of an issue than if those things constantly change. Establish a reasonable, sensible homework routine for your children to help them look at homework as 'no big deal,' just part of the day.
Warning for Parents
Parents, it might take some time, but you can
stop those meltdowns! Just make absolutely certain that you don't:
Get dragged into the drama! I know, it's hard to stay cool when your child is having a meltdown. But, you must do it! No arguing back and forth, yelling, pleading, making insane promises ("Just do this math sheet, and I'll buy you a video game!). You must stay calm, nip the meltdown in the bud and seek long-term solutions.
Don't do the homework for them! Many parents admit that, when homework becomes too unbearable, they do it for their kids. Stop! It would be better to write across the page
My child was having a meltdown, so I told him to stop here.
than to do your child's homework. The teacher needs to be aware of students' homework havoc; and, your child needs to understand that you will help them but you will NOT do their work for them.
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