As a parent, you’ve probably asked yourself many times how you can get your teenagers to do their homework.
“I’ll do it later”, “I’ve done enough studying today,” or “leave me alone” are not uncommon phrases to hear when asking teens about the status of their assignments.
If this sounds like your household, don’t worry – you’re not alone.
Social media, streaming platforms, and online gaming have become very popular. It’s no wonder that teens find it difficult to focus on their studies, and parents struggle with motivating their teenagers.
If you want to learn how to motivate teens to do their homework, then you’re in the right place. I’ve outlined 9 strategies you can use to get your teens to do their schoolwork.
Let’s take a closer look.
1. Create a routine
Life with teenagers can be chaotic. As such, establishing a study routine for them to commit to can improve their productivity dramatically.
Think about when your teens are the most productive – whether it’s when they get home from school or later in the evening after they’ve had some downtime.
Study blocks are a good approach to use. Encourage your teens to set aside one- to two-hour blocks each day and dedicate them to homework.
This may change depending on the day and what other activities or chores your teens need to do.
You can help by setting up a calendar that highlights the times available each day. If your teenagers have a time frame to work with and know they can have some downtime, it can be motivating.
2. Provide a distraction-free space to work
It’s natural for teenagers’ workspaces to become cluttered over time.
But when it comes to motivating your teens to do their homework, it’s vital to clear some space and provide an environment that’s free from distractions.
Research shows that maintaining a clutter-free area can enhance productivity. Lighting, temperature, and noise are also factors to consider when creating an environment that’s conducive to studying.
Adding motivational quotes for students on sticky notes around the room can help to keep your teens going if they start to lose steam.
3. Don’t force your teen to do the homework
At the end of the day, it’s your teen’s responsibility to do the homework. As a parent, you can only do so much to help.
If you force your teens to do their homework by using threats and punishments, they’ll become resentful.
It will likely lead to a power struggle, and your teens will become more rebellious and defiant.
Have calm discussions with your teens about the expectations related to schoolwork, and take the time to understand their perspective.
Then you can work together with them to find some solutions that everyone involved finds acceptable.
4. Establish that homework is your teen’s responsibility
It’s only natural to want to see your teenagers succeed by focusing on studying and putting in their best effort.
That’s why getting teens to do their homework is a common point of frustration for many parents.
The problem is that this often leads to situations where parents become more invested in their teens’ study time than their teens are. It’s important to remember that homework is your teen’s responsibility, not yours.
While you can offer them help and guidance, you should never take ownership of their schoolwork.
I’m sure you want to raise happy and successful teens, and one of the best ways to do that is to ensure they understand what their responsibilities are.
5. Set expectations and consequences
Establishing clear expectations and consequences can improve your and your teenager’s experience with school work.
You’ll want to avoid harshly laying down the law when it comes to getting your teens to do their homework. This approach will backfire and will cause them to rebel.
Instead, take some time to calmly communicate with your teens and actively listen to them.
The conversation you have should be collaborative. Go through your expectations when it comes to your teen’s homework and the consequences of not meeting those expectations. Make sure everything is clearly outlined, and make sure that your teen finds the expectations reasonable.
By taking this approach, you’ll avoid – or at least minimise – arguments about unfinished assignments in the future.
6. Do your best not to micromanage your teen
Sometimes, pushing your teenagers too hard to do their homework or checking in too frequently can backfire and make them push back.
You may find that when left on their own, teenagers can be productive and finish what they need to.
Make a conscious decision to give your teens space to work on their own. Your teen will see this trust as a sign of confidence, which will strengthen your relationship.
7. Work on your tasks at the same time as your teen
As adults, we have some form of “homework” that needs to be done too, such as things related to invoices, bills, investments, online courses, etc.
So use this as an opportunity to set an example for your teenagers. If they’re open to the idea, do your “homework” while they’re doing their homework.
By spending time together and being productive, you can be a positive role model for your teenagers. You can show them what it looks like to take on tasks, finish them, and enjoy the feeling of accomplishment.
8. Stay calm and communicate clearly
When trying to motivate your teens to do their homework, stay calm and avoid arguing with them. Yelling will only distance your teens from you and make the subject of homework one that’s tinged with negativity.
Nurture your relationship with your teenager by speaking to them calmly and listening to what they have to say.
Show them that you value their opinions and reinforce that their voice matters.
9. Help your teen prioritise
As a parent, I’m sure you have a to-do list. It’s not always possible to get through it every day, but prioritising the most important tasks can do wonders.
The same thing goes for teenagers and their homework.
If your teens are open to the idea, sit down with them to help them prioritise their most important tasks. That way, when their energy level is at its peak, they can begin with the more time-consuming or challenging assignments.
When they learn to prioritise, they’ll be less overwhelmed and more focused.
Homework is an essential part of every student’s life.
As a parent, you understand the importance of your teens doing their best in school so that they’ll make the most of their potential.
So it’s about finding that happy medium between how to get your teens to do their homework while also giving them the chance to take complete ownership of their education.
You won’t always be there to give your teens a nudge, so by applying the tips in this article, they’ll be on their way to becoming responsible and effective students.
(If you’d like your teenagers to become more motivated, make sure to download the free e-book below!)