If your teenager isn’t bothering with homework assignments anymore, there could be a few issues at play. Sometimes, kids who used to care about their schoolwork stop caring as they reach puberty. Their hormones are changing. Their interests are changing. They’re developing a need for independence. They don’t want to be told what to do, and their peers become the top priority.
As your child becomes a teenager, you should expect that their moods will change, and their attention to detail might falter. This is especially true if they struggle with mental health issues like ADD, ADHD, or ODD. However, you can take action to help your teen learn the life skills necessary to follow through with their responsibilities — like doing their homework.
Getting your teenager to care about their homework
Teens today have a lot of distractions to pull them away from their homework. Between cellphones, video games, and real-life situations, your teen has a lot going on. However, this won’t change as they become adults. If they don’t learn how to manage distractions while they are young, their careless attitude can carry over into adulthood.
Talk to your teen
Have a conversation with your child to find out why they’re not doing their homework. What you see as obstinance could actually be insecurity. If your teen is having difficulty with the course material or if they’re struggling to focus, they might be embarrassed about it. It’s easier to give up on something than to actually try and then fail.
By talking to your teen about what’s going on, you can get to the root of the problem. Find out why they aren’t bothering with their homework assignments anymore, and let them know that giving up isn’t an option. Even if they view homework as pointless, they still have to complete it. Make sure they understand the link between completing their homework and passing their classes.
Make a plan together
Once you have talked to your teen about why they aren’t doing their homework and made it clear that doing homework isn’t optional, make a plan together that will help them be successful. Decide on the end goal of the plan, and work backward from there.
If the end goal is for them to pass their classes, what will they need to do to maintain passing grades?
If the end goal is to make a certain GPA, what will they need to do to reach that GPA?
Set a schedule
If your teen is procrastinating on their homework because they would rather play on their electronics, set a schedule for electronics. This can help them develop responsibility and learn how to complete their work even when they would rather be doing something else.
When your son gets home from school, he gets 30 minutes to unwind. During this time, he can play on his electronics, get snacks, and generally take a break from schoolwork.
Once the 30 minutes are up, the video games must be turned off, and he has to hand over his phone.
When his homework is complete, he can play video games again, and he gets his phone back.
Communicate with his teacher
Check-in with your child’s teacher to find out more about his classwork and homework assignments. Many schools have an online portal that parents can use to view homework assignments and class syllabi. By utilizing available resources, you can stay on top of your teen’s homework assignments and see how they’re doing in class.
The overall goal should be for your child to complete their homework independently without needing to be monitored, but you may need to work up to that. If your teenager isn’t bothering with homework assignments anymore, you may need to offer more direct supervision initially. This is particularly true if your teen has a behavioral disorder or learning disability.
If your teen continues to shirk his responsibility, you may need a bigger intervention. Some teenagers benefit from attending a residential treatment center where they can learn from the structure of their day-to-day lives.
At Sundance Canyon Academy, our students still take classes that count for high school credit while they are in our program. Contact us today for more information.