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Helping With Homework
"My 12-year-old routinely says he doesn't know how to do his homework, but won't accept my help. How can I make homework time less of a struggle?"
Consistency helps, so make sure your son tackles his assignments in the same location at the same time every day. If he gets frustrated, offer encouragement. If necessary, "de-escalate" the situation by walking away for a brief time-out or offering him a snack. To get him going again, say, "Now that we've had a break, how do you think I can be most helpful to you?" or "What's the next step you need to do?"
Be sure to ask his teacher for suggestions. Some teachers pair students as "homework buddies," who help each other complete difficult assignments. Remember, 12-year-olds want to be independent and less reliant on their parents. If you can afford one, your son may be more willing to accept help from a tutor.
Dr. Carol Brady is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Houston, Texas. She is also a specialist in school psychology and a well-regarded speaker in the areas of ADHD, children, and families in trauma and Tourette's Syndrome.
She received her Ph.D. from Louisiana State University and she is currently on the scientific advisory board for the Tourette's Syndrome Association and is an adjunct faculty at Baylor University and the University of Texas. Dr. Brady hopes to help children and families who deal with neurological/developmental disorders by serving as a regular columnist for ADDitude magazine.