You’ve tried everything and your child is still going to bed late and leaving your entire family frustrated and stressed every school night. Is it your fault or can there be other options?

When homework help isn’t enough, don’t assume the responsibility rests solely on you to get your child’s work done before bedtime. Talk to the teacher: She may be surprised to learn that what she thought should take only a few minutes took over an hour.

Some teachers are willing to give reduced homework if a parent asks, and your teacher may not realize that the work can take longer than expected because of difficulties your child faces that other children may not.

Try working out a plan with the teacher ahead of time for strategies to decrease workload or leave assignments incomplete if the child is having to stay up late or can’t handle the pressure. One plan that often works well is for the teacher to tell all the parents how many minutes a night should be spent in homework. Then you, as the parent, require that many minutes and no more, even if the work is not completed. The teacher can then gauge your child’s ability to do the work against what the other children in class are doing so that both of you can see if your child is having an unusual amount of difficulty.

Whatever system you decide on, communication is key. Don’t simply decide not to make your child do the assignment and expect the teacher to understand when they receive incomplete work.

Rachel Phelps

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