I Hate Homework!!!

The Love and Logic Approach to Getting Through it All

Tracy Strepek, LCSW


As a parent of two, I am all too familiar with the words, “I hate homework”!!  Homework can be a daily battle in our household and maintaining composure as the parent is top priority.  I used to be the parent who would melt down alongside of my children, with my blood boiling and the frustration mounting to an explosive end.  Tears and raised voices were daily occurrences as we battled through fractions and essay writing and science experiments.  With the help of the Love and Logic approach, I can now proudly say that the homework environment in my home is very peaceful and stress-free, at least 90% of the time! 


This approach is based on a philosophy founded by Jim Kay and Foster W. Cline, M.D.  Based on their combined total of over 75 years of raising and working with kids, their curriculum teaches parents the importance of holding children accountable and allowing for mistakes through empathy, compassion and nurturance.  This allows for the child to see the parent as the “good guy” and the child’s poor decision as the “bad guy”.  This approach enables a child to develop an internal voice that guides them through decision making, helps them to become more independent, and teaches them to be responsible and respectful.  The Love and Logic approach builds positive parent-child relationships and lessens family conflict.  The famous rhetoric in Love and Logic is “I love you too much to argue”. 


Here are some basic guidelines to help encourage homework happiness in your home, according to the Love and Logic Approach:

1.      Focus on what your child is doing RIGHT.  So much of schoolwork and homework is focused on deficits and making mistakes.  Before plunging into assignments or corrections, ask your child where she/he has been SUCCESSFUL during the day.  This will help them to realize that they are in control of their success.

2.      Work with your children only when they ask for help.  Forcing yourself upon your child will only make them believe they can’t learn without you.  It will also increase anger and frustration on both ends.  If there are things they don’t understand, encourage them to go back to their teachers and ask for help. This is the school’s responsibility; they are trained to help our children.

3.      Only help if there is an absence of anger and frustration.  If you continue to work through a meltdown, then homework is directly associated with these negative emotions. Show sadness instead of anger; this is a demonstration of empathy.  I am so sad that you are having trouble understanding your math.  I can see it is draining you.  When you calm down, I will be here to help you”.   It is vital that a child’s home is a safe and supportive environment for learning.


4.      Do not punish your child for bad grades or reward for good grades.  Love your child no matter what the grade is.  Show excitement for good grades and sadness for bad ones. 

For more information on the Love and Logic approach to homework and other issues, visit the website at www.loveandlogic.com.