Sunday, November 28, 2010

How do I get a tired kid to do homework?

Ms. Dorothy -
_____ is soooo tired after school that she has a super hard time with her homework. She cries and cries and just lays her head down on the table saying she is just tooo tired and can’t do it. School uses every ounce of energy that poor child has and by the time I pick her up, all she wants to do is eat dinner and go to bed. We end up spending an hour on a simple worksheet just because she is too exhausted to concentrate. How do I help her?
- Mom of a 1st grader

It must be so hard for you to see your child so distressed, and want to comfort her and give her rest, while still encouraging her to value education and get homework done!

There must be a great amount of stress in her day to exhaust her that way. Especially if it is happening every day.

I think that it is more important to address the stress than it is to complete the homework, and that if she needs a nap after school, she should get one, and this is why:

When you are in a stressful situation, your body releases chemicals that flood the brain, and too much of these chemicals can damage, and even kill off brain cells. The area of the brain most impacted by this imbalance is the same area that is responsible for memory.
This means that your daughter may be impairing her ability to learn in school by being stressed on a regular basis. Crying it out and sleeping at the end of the day may be the best way for her to release that stress and help her brain and body get back to a more balanced state.

There are so many aspects of a school day that can cause stress. Your daughter may need help to understand how to address each different situation and let it go rather than letting them accumulate all day.

There may also be something specific that is too much of a challenge for her, and that is what is causing this extreme stress reaction.

So, the homework that matters now is really yours. Find out what the unduly difficult parts of her day are, and help her cope with them so that she can function with less stress.

When she comes home and wants to play instead of cry and sleep, you'll know she is ready for homework!

No comments:

Post a Comment