As parents, we worry a lot about our children. We worry when they don’t eat, we worry when they don’t talk to us, and we worry when they don’t study for classes. No matter how smart your child is, or how diligent they are, there will be a day (or more) when they will become bored and refuse to study. Boredom shows itself in many ways. Your child may refuse your request to study and then complain, sneak outside to play with friends during their study time, or just sit at their desk doodling.
Perhaps your child is just too bored to study. The first reaction from parents is usually annoyance followed by anger. As parents, it’s our job to discipline our children when they misbehave, especially when they purposely avoid study time. If this happens occasionally, then it’s okay. It’s normal. A shout or a threat of nonphysical punishment (i.e.extra chores, no online gaming for a week) should do the trick.
It is a problem when your child refuses to study on a daily basis. Step back and look deeper. Does your child have a photographic memory where he or she doesn’t have to study or is your child just bored? If boredom is the problem, ask yourself why?
There could be several reasons why your children are easily bored with school or studying in general. Below are some of the most common reasons students refuse to study and some suggestions on what to do to help them succeed.
Create a supportive environment
The environment is often the biggest reason children become bored with studying. Children are easily distracted by their surroundings. If there’s something moving, colorful, or loud, they’ll want to investigate it rather than sit down and read a black and white textbook.
If your children are easily distracted, set up their study area with minimal distractions. Shut off any electronics and request siblings to keep their voices down during study time. Choose a room where no one will disturb your child’s studying.
Develop a reward system
Punishment will prevent a child from wandering away from his or her desk, but a reward will make the child less resistant to studying. Create a reward system that works for you and your child and use it when they seem unbearably bored with studying.
For the motivation to be effective, don’t make your child wait too long for the reward. Promise your child something that you can do together or something like a new bicycle, if you can afford it, but only if he or she gets all As at the end of the semester. Your child will regularly visualize this reward and it will keep him or her motivated at least until the next report card. It isn’t necessary to bribe your children with expensive things. Promise them small rewards like an extra hour of video game time. If your child doesn’t get all As still reward him or her with a smaller prize to keep them motivated but let them know that you believe in him or her.
Family study time
Children can’t control their emotions too well, and they can feel envious of others who are not forced to study. They may refuse to study because they are envious of you, a working adult, who never seems to have to study. They could be jealous of a younger sibling who is not in school and gets to play all day.
Make family study time a regular event. Set aside one or two hours every day when everyone must turn off their electronic devices and study. Parents can use that time to pay bills, balance the household budget or read a book. Even better, have each person take turns reading to the family, round-robin style. This way your children will feel supported and motivated because everyone is doing something that is intellectual or educational at the same time.
Get a cool tutor
Studying is boring because they do it all by themselves. Interactive studying with others, like quizzing each other or discussing a problem together, is less likely to create boredom. As a parent, you should be the first-choice study buddy to assist them with their homework. However, if you have your own work that needs to be done or if you’re not confident about the homework material, don’t be afraid to hire a tutor.
Find a passionate tutor that understands your child’s issues with studying, and can adjust his or her teaching methods accordingly. A passionate tutor will customize the lesson to your child’s needs. If your child doesn’t want to study because the material is too easy, a tutor can challenge them with more advanced skills based on the homework topic. If the material is too difficult, a tutor can adjust the lesson to accommodate your child’s level of understanding. Finding a tutor is easy. Just log in to your laptop and visit any tutor-finder website.
Take a family field trip
If your child isn’t motivated, an insightful, well-planned family field trip is a fun way to spark their motivation. Take your child to their dream job, like at a fire station or a tour of a hospital, or if your child already has a concept of what it means to be accepted into an HBCU, set up a tour for both of you. If your child loves outer space and wants to work at NASA, take them to an aerospace museum. If your child loves animals or wants to be a veterinarian, take him or her to the animal clinic when you’re scheduling your pet’s checkup. Nurture their interests and gently remind them what it takes to have such a cool profession.
If your child refuses to study, don’t panic, don’t get irritated, and don’t get angry. Find out why they are refusing. Speak with them privately. Is it because the material is too easy? Is the material too difficult? Is there another reason?
Help your child to get on track with the study methods above. What motivation do you use to get your children to study? Share your experiences with us in the comments.
Article by Nag Endra