Sat | Jan 28, 2023

The homework drama

Published:Monday | August 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Tishan and her son, Jax

Unlike buying a new car or an appliance, motherhood does not come with a manual. It is a journey travelled by trial and error and words of the wise - those who have been there before. So let's take the journey together in the Flair Magazine's new feature 'Mommy Corner'. Each week, mothers share the 'tricks' of the trade - what works for them and what doesn't. Let us know what works for you.

This week, mother of two Tishan Lee shares with us how she gets her son to do his homework.

As a working mother of two young children (Mia - 5 and Jaxon - 3), I can safely say my home life is quite eventful.

On one hand, in my daughter I have the 'girliest' princess-diva-popstar you could ever meet. Then on the other hand, you have my son. He is the most energetic-rock star-climb-everything-run-everywhere little charmer you could ever imagine. What my two little muchkins have taught me is that what everyone says about boys is true - boys are wired differently".

marching to his own drums

Mia does everything to please her mommy and hates to disappoint me. I hope and pray this lasts forever. However, Jaxon (aka Jax or Jacko) marches to the beat of his own drum. As soon as we identified this trait (which was pretty early on), we realised that the same methods we used for Mia would not be effective on him. It took some trial and error, but we finally figured it out! Jaxon needs a lot of attention and to always feel empowered.

A few months ago, we took Jax out of nursery school and moved him to pre-kindergarten at his sister's prep school. It was an early start as he was only 21/2 years old at the time, but we wanted them to be together and decided to give it a shot.

At first, Jaxon loved pre-k. He was the youngest and among the most popular kids there - he was everyone's baby.

Then, the real work began and Jax was not amused. He was required to sit still and do work even when he wanted to play, which was unfamiliar to him. By the time he got home and was then being instructed to complete his homework (colouring), he was 'over it'. Enough was enough! This became our problem.

How do you motivate a toddler who is outright refusing to complete his homework and clearly not understanding the consequences? You make it a competition.

We rallied and cheered, chanting "Go Jaxon, go! Go Jaxon, go!" Jaxon was immediately energised. He coloured his little heart out. The faster we chanted, the faster he coloured. His homework was now fun and exciting and, in his mind, worthy of his valuable time. Over time, homework became a part of his routine and cheering was phased out.

This little trick has been priceless for homework time. We hope it will help you to get your little ones excited about learning too.

Share your strategies with us at