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Reduce Homework Stress

  1. Designated Study Area – Set up an area in your home dedicated to homework and studying. An area clear of chaos makes it easier to focus and feel calm. It works better than one day on the couch and another day at the kitchen table. Make sure it’s free of clutter and things that can distract children.
  2. Purchase a Second Set of Books – Purchase a second set of used textbooks to keep at home. This is especially helpful for children that have difficulty juggling assignments and organizing. It is also a healthy choice for your child’s spine. Online shopping on makes it easy and affordable.
  3. Set Smaller Obtainable Goals – Break it down. Set smaller goals to complete a portion of the assignment.  Reward your child with a break.  Let your child set a timer to alert them that their break is over. This eliminates power struggles and empowers children.
  4. Celebrate Small Accomplishments – Brain breaks should be taken. Blow bubbles outside in the fresh air. Do jumping jacks, run, or have a good laugh. Exercising and deep breathing brings oxygen to your child’s brain and reduces stress.
  5. Encourage Emotional Intelligence – Some children need absolute quiet. Some children do really well with playing relaxation music in the background. Children are empowered when they realize which environments contribute to their wellness. We’ve just created two relaxation music CDs that are very relaxing, one for children and one for teenagers. I even turn music on before my daughter walks in the door.
  6. Provide Guidance – Encourage children to review work each night so that when it is time for a test they are not overloaded with information. Help your child understand directions, organize, and create a time management plan. Don’t forget your teen. They have more on their plate and could use your guidance and experience.
  7. Positive Statements or Affirmations – Use affirmations or positive statements like, “ I can do it.” Kids smile with this “auto-affirmer”.  Use it for a break or when your child is discouraged or cranky.
  8. Emotional & Nutritional Balance – Have a healthy snack or even a meal before homework. It is difficult to concentrate and feel balanced when hungry. I have been known to serve a full dinner at 3:30 when my kids got off the bus.
  9. Incorporate Stress Management Techniques – Teach children relaxation techniques. Take a deep breath in and say “Ahhhhh” to release anger and frustration.
  10. Stay Positive – Stay positive about and during homework. Your positive attitude is contagious.

Even with taking steps to alleviate stress, experts warn that difficult homework assignments and the pressure to complete multiple projects can cause anxiety, frustration, and even anger for kids. Homework that creates an anxiety-ridden child is defeating the overall goal of creating a well-rounded, balanced, successful child. Parents need to step in and get involved if they see this happening to their child. Be an advocate for you child. If they are overwhelmed by homework and it is affecting their quality of life, speak up. You child’s teacher will appreciate your honesty.

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