Today is the beginning of Project Library. The mission of Project Library is to stop the screaming at the inception of homework. Duration of Project Library is twenty one library days.
My daughter loves to be at home. She is the ultimate homebody. I, mistakenly, think screen time (I’m a screen Nazi), and candy are rewards that will motivate her to complete her homework. After trying these approaches with no change in negative homework behavior, a friend tells me that I am, obviously, wrong. She says my daughter loves home.
My friend has known my daughter since she was three. She tells me that from the first time she has met her, my child has sighed with pleasure when talking about home. She loves home when it is messy, home when it is clean, home when Mommy is frustrated, home when peace prevails. I tell her she doesn’t have friends over often enough because I am a slob. She tells me to get over myself. My daughter doesn’t have friends over because she doesn’t want to share home.
Using this new idea, I am approaching the homework problem from the mindset of a behaviorist. The desired behavior is for homework to be complete without emotional meltdowns. The reward is home. Non-desired behaviors will be ignored with the goal of extinction. Banshee Mom will not appear. Instead, for twenty one days, I will try this behavioral approach. Twenty one days because a friend says it takes that long to make a behavior a habit.
So, today, I will pick my girls up from the bus stop and drive them to the library. We will go to a table, and remain until the homework is complete. What do you do to motivate your children? Leave a comment – it’s always good to learn new approaches to parenting.