Help tweens and teens set a time limit for working on homework and other frustrating tasks. Work to increase the amount of time spent on certain activities incrementally. Make clear that just because your child can’t do all of something doesn’t mean she can’t do anyof it.
Have an ongoing conversation with your child about how some tasks seem to be easier to complete and others cause real difficulty and frustration. Offer to loop in teachers and other people working with your child so they’re aware of her continued efforts.
What you can say
“Sofia, if you don’t mind, let’s go over the expectations your dad and I have for your homework one more time. We know it’s difficult and sometimes frustrating with so many different teachers giving you so much work to do. We want you to try each subject each night and do as much as you can.”
“But we think you’re already spending the right amount of time on homework. After you’ve given it your best at home, we’re willing to write a note, with your help. The note will explain how much you got done, where you need help from your teachers and how you’re willing to meet with them at any time.”
“Some of your work will get a little easier the more you do it, and some of it you may have to go over with your teachers several times. That’s OK with us. We know you’re not a slacker. We know you want to learn the material. And we’re confident that with a little extra help, you’ll get it.”
Why this will help
A child’s self-image is shaped by personal experiences and by the reactions of others. As a parent, your feedback can help identify and redirect inaccurate beliefs that your child has about herself.
It’s important to set realistic expectations that are based on your observations of your child’s strengths, weaknesses and capacity for the task at hand. Doing this can help your child avoid frustration and develop the perseverance and confidence she needs to stick to the plan and achieve goals.