Decided Not to Do Homework

Updated on March 04, 2008
N.Z. asks from Mundelein, IL
4 answers

I have a 12 yr old daughter that just decided to stop doing her math homework last quarter. And as a result when report cards came home she failed math. Never has she so blatenly decided to disregard school before. She hasn't been a straight A's student but she could be if she really tried at it. So this quarter she said she has been doing all of her math and when progress reports came home she had pulled that F to a B. We were so proud of her, she did an excellent job. But as I reviewed the rest of her progress report she failed reading. I asked and she said there was a book she was supposed to read that she thoguht was stupid so she didn't do it or the questions. So how do I help her to understand that all homework is important and she has to do it? How do explain the direct effect of homework on her grades without lecturing her and having her tune me out? And without getting the "Yeah, I know Mom." Thanks.

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answers from Chicago on

I am no expert, and i really don't know what happens in the mind of a twelve year old, but with ours it's been the same thing. I don't think it's a matter of understanding the importance of the homework. I think it is combination of lazyness, lack of motivation and just a different way of pushing the boundaries. Instead of doing something more obvious like getting a pircing or picking up smoking, some kids just "decide" to not do something as a means to assert their free will; I think they find it empowering. The older they get one can't really force them to study that much or nag them to death, at this age it's their responsibility. But they can't get a free pass either. Loss of priviledges is a MUST. You can't make them feel that school is valuable and important. They always have an excuse that the teacher is boring, that the book is stupid- whatever. You cant change that, but you can provide incentives. In real life, if you dont work hard you dont get paid. No one cares if you like your job. It's a valuable discipline to learn that as the child for whom everything is provided, they need to do their part and do ALL their homework. failure to do so will result in loss of priviledges.
It's the only thing that's worked for us.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Have you tried an incentive, say if you get an A you'll get this much money, B this much money, or if she does good on her report card, like no d's and F's then she can pick a fun thing to do. Or a new pair of shoes or something.

Good luck



answers from Chicago on

I have a younger sister (she'll be 16 next month) and she did the SAME thing in 8th grade. All of a sudden she stopped doing homework. My mom has always been rather strict (although she has mellowed with age, lol). My sister lost all privileges - internet, cell phone, TV until the grades were brought up. She could earn things back as the grades improved. My mom also kept in close email contact with the teachers. She's almost 16 now and is a solid B student.

Good luck.



answers from Chicago on

I read all of the other responses and they are all good, and to add to them, is this: Make sure something else isn't bothering her, like a bully, death in the family, loss of a friend at school, cliques. Sometimes mean kids can cause problems academically for another. All of my kids said junior high was the hardest time they had in school. Kids can be really mean during those years. --J. T

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