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How to Easily Get Your Kids to Focus on Homework

You’re Frustrated.  

You feel like you have to spend every single minute with your child,

Constantly asking them to sit down and pay attention,

Sometimes they’re breaking down in tears,

And sometimes you’re breaking down with them.

All in an attempt to get your kids to focus on homework.

I get it, I’ve been there too.

I remember my daughter’s 2nd-grade year so well. There were so many tears, thrown pencils, stomping feet, and tears when it came to her math homework.

I cried.

Pulled my hair out.

Even hired a private tutor.

In the end, it was a matter of her not believing in herself, not trusting her skills. And a lot of me, not taking a step back to really look at what was causing this sudden breakdown during homework. However, once I was able to do a few things differently, it made a world of difference.

The tears ended, the frustration was so little and few between, it was like a whole new world!

I want that for you, so here are some tips on how to easily get your kids to focus during homework.


Kids want to feel in control over their own lives. But they are kids. We know that isn’t possible for them to be in control of everything in their life. However, we can give them some space on a few things. One of those includes how they do their homework. 

Duct tape

Recently, I read Duct Tape Parenting by Vicki Hoefle and man did it change my perspective!

The main takeaway I had was to take a step back and just observe my child and gather data. 

Take a chance on this. Take a step back. Remove yourself from your child’s homework for a few days (or even better a couple of weeks if you can handle it!).

No reminders.  

No looking over their shoulder.

Just observe.

You can communicate to them by saying, “I’ve realized I’ve made a mistake.  I’ve taken over responsibility over you doing your homework, but it’s your responsibility.  I’m not going to remind you.I believe that you can do it without me.”

Just quietly watch and see what happens. 

Give your kid permission to take breaks

When we’re mad, we don’t learn. If something is frustrating, no amount of redirection is going to help us calm down quickly and start learning.

If you ever need proof of that…come watch me trying to program my garage door remote. I often yell, stomp and do a lot of deep breathing. Trying to regain my composure to think through the problem. But I can do that because I have worked on controlling my upstairs brain and downstairs brain and self regulation. In “The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind” by Daniel J. Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson, they talk about the importance of being able to bridge the (upstairs brain) that houses our logic and our emotional (downstairs) brain. 

Giving our kids permission to take breaks is huge! Kids often look to us for guidance, so verbally telling them it’s okay to take a break until they can feel comfortable making that call for themselves, is key.

They can work through the frustration from their homework struggles and come back calmer and with a brain that is ready to work and problem solve. 

READ: 5 Tips to Help Your Kid Laser Focus on Homework

Let kids set a reward.

Ask your kids to take the lead on this one. 

Trust me on this.

Ask them to decide on something they get when homework is done.

There are some guidelines to this though. Discuss the reward with your child so that you know what it is and you are able to be on board. Also, remind your kid that it needs to be a reward that doesn’t require you. So no money or taking them places.

This is a reward that they are in total control of!

Here are a few examples of ones your kids may like to use:

  • Watching Roblox videos
  • Playing outside
  • Snacks

And that’s it! These simple and easy tips will help get your kids to focus on homework in no time!

Also, you can check out our Homework 911 and Homework Mastery courses for kids that helps your kids do homework independently and gives them step-by-step support!

Resources We Shared:

Homework Simplified 

Homework 911

Homework Mastery

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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