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3 Simple Ways to Stop the Homework Power Struggle

Come on…we all do it.

Sometimes, we as parents, have unreasonable expectations.

We think that…

  • when we plan 8 errands into a 2-hour time frame, we can get it done.
  • the birthday party where you pay by the child will only have those who RSVP’d show up.
  • we’ll cook a brand new dinner with new, different, and healthy ingredients and everyone will appreciate our efforts and love dinner.
  • everyone’s going to come home/ finish online school and happily start homework and be done in no time flat. 

Let’s just be honest, sometimes our expectations can set us up for disappointment. Especially when we have a million things going on.

We’re juggling our own career with our kids’ homework.

There’s tears every day over getting the school work done. And often those tears come from both us parents and our kids. 

We see that our kids are struggling with focus and can’t seem to get anything done without our constant supervision. 

And if we’re being honest, that little voice in our head is screaming that our kids will fall behind if they don’t get their work turned in on time.

So we know that what’s been happening can’t go on like this much longer, or you will be found in the back of your closet, huddled by your shoes, downing a whole carton of ice cream while drinking one… or three glasses of wine.

So let’s take a minute, breath and re-focus. 

Let’s try to approach things a bit differently. A little mindshift if you will…

Let’s get some expectations in place that can be met and can result in everyone feeling better about homework.

Here are 3 simple ways to stop the homework power struggle and to help your kids have a successful homework routine!


Your child is capable of doing the work with minimal intervention. Dr Carol Dweck wrote about  Growth Mindset vs. the Fixed Mindset. Basically in a fixed mindset, people believe they are born with all the skills they will have. Here’s an example: If you’re struggling in math, that’s just because you are bad in math. (Not true by the way!)

But in a growth mindset, you believe that you will learn new things, if you just work on it. Here’s another example: If you’re struggling in math, that’s just because I don’t have it down yet. But I will. I just have to work at it some more. 

But here’s the great news- you can change your mindset! Just like anything else, it will take some time and practicing positive self-talk. Honestly, just knowing about the different mindsets is half the battle. 

So talk to your kids about growth mindset and let them know that they can do it. They just haven’t mastered it yet. And remind yourself of that from time to time.    

READ: Episode 001: Six Mindset Changes for a Happier Mom Life


How many times has the homework frustration started when your child needed a working eraser or a green crayon and there were none to be found anywhere?

I have a little theory that my house eats pencils just like my drayer eats all the socks!

But here’s a thought- It’s not your job to keep all things organized! 

I’m serious! You, (mom and dad) are not responsible for all the school supplies being in just the right place. Even your kindergartener can do it with this amazing homework hack- Homework Box!

Hear me out…

  • Kids pick out their supply box (we just got a simple school supply box).
  • Kids pack the supply box (you may need to help the younger ones realize what they need, but they can put them in the box themselves).
  • Kids pick the spot where they want to do their homework using their new Homework Box.

It’s amazing what a little bit of autonomy and organization can do to make the homework task so much easier to handle!


I have another knowledge bomb to drop here…

It’s not your job to motivate your kids to finish their homework!

I know this seems crazy. Because if you aren’t the one there, keeping them on task- who will? 

Well…They will. Remember that Growth Mindset we mentioned earlier? It applies here as well. They can learn how to self motivate themselves. We promise!

And if they need help with homework, you can do that. But let your kid know when you are available to help. Have it be a specific time, so you aren’t constantly being interrupted from your tasks to help with homework. 

In my house, my kids know that I am free to help for the first 30 minutes we get home from school, and then again after dinner for an hour.

That helps me keep my sanity and gives them a plan for when they can get my undivided attention on homework.

READ: What is Homework 911?

That’s it! Those 3 simple tips will help decrease those homework struggles. 

Do you want more help with homework? From January 25th- February 5th we will be hosting a FREE parent event called Homework Simplified where we will be sharing tips and tricks to help your kids become more self sufficient and motivated in school work. Click HERE to join!

Resources we shared:

Homework Simplified 

Download the transcripts HERE

The best mom is a happy mom. To better take care of you, download our No Guilt Mom mindset here .  These reminders will help you second guess less, and feel more confidence every day in your parenting.

Brie Tucker

COO/ Podcast Producer at No Guilt Mom
Brie Tucker has over 20 years of experience coaching parents with a background in early childhood and special needs. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Central Missouri and is certified in Positive Discipline as well as a Happiest Baby Educator.

She’s a divorced mom to two teenagers.

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