Monday, March 26, 2012

How to Get a Teenager to Do Homework


ACTION:  Immediately after school.... Offer your child a snack and a gentle reminder that he needs to get his homework done.
REACTION:  Child eats his snack then spends 10-15 minutes looking for more food.  His attempts are unsuccessful, however, because none of the food jumps out of the refrigerator completely assembled and ready to eat.  Child goes to the bathroom.  Child changes his clothes.  Child gets the mail.  Child sits down on the couch and pulls his books out of his backpack.  Child notices the TV remote control on the couch next to him. Child turns on the TV and begins watching Tosh .O on Comedy Central.

ACTION:  After finding your child watching TV instead of doing homework.... Calmly turn off the TV and take away the remote.  Remind your child it's important for him to get good grades in high school so he can get into a good college.
REACTION:  Child refocuses on the books that he pulled from his backpack.  Child realizes he has no paper.  Child goes to the desk to retrieve some paper.  "Oh look... I have an email from my friend Sharkbite.  It's a link to a really funny YouTube video about a singing hamster."  Child clicks the link and watches the humorous video.  While there, YouTube generously offers him an extensive list of other videos he may find interesting.

ACTION:  After finding your child watching his 15th YouTube video.... Firmly remind him that getting a good education will really pay-off later in life.  Turn off the computer.  Disconnect the keyboard and mouse and take them with you.  Give him a stern look as you leave the room.
REACTION:  Child gets the paper he originally went to the desk for.  Child returns to the couch.  Child digs through his backpack looking for a pencil.  While digging, child finds his phone.  "I was wondering where I left that."  Child is overwhelmed by his own popularity.... 12 text messages, 20 facebook "likes", and numerous tweets about his awesomeness.  Because you raised him well, child realizes it would be rude not to answer his fans and he begins the important process of responding.

ACTION:  After finding your child (an hour since your last visit) sitting on the couch facebooking, texting, skyping, tweeting and playing Draw Something simultaneously.... Remind him he will not be allowed to live at home until he is 40.  In fact, he may not even make it to 40 at this rate. Calmly take his phone, walk to the bathroom and plunge it into the toilet.
REACTION:  Child runs to the bathroom and grabs the phone from the toilet bowl.  Child runs to the kitchen, fills a baggie full of rice and drops his phone in.  (Note: This is probably the most physical activity your child has gotten all day.  Feel proud of yourself for encouraging it).  Child says a silent prayer asking God to resurrect his phone so he doesn't become a social outcast.  Child turns and gives you the death glare while mumbling incoherent words that sound similar to "twitch" and "glass hole".  Child sits back down on the couch, opens his math book, picks up his pencil and begins doing his homework.  Child knows you are still there watching, treating him like a 1st grader.

ACTION:  Take a moment to pat yourself on the back for your superior parenting skills. It's only been 2 hours and your child is now doing his homework.  Linger for a short time longer just to show him who's in charge and to make sure it's not a trick. 
REACTION:  Child sits and does his homework while intently listening to your breathing behind him.  Child finally hears you leave the room.  Child's begins to feel tired because he stayed up very late playing the new release of Assassin's Creed on Xbox.

ACTION:  After finding your child asleep on the couch with a small amount of drool escaping from the corner of his mouth, dirty socks on the floor, homework paper crinkled and stuffed between the cushion and the remaining contents of his backpack scattered across the coffee table.... Walk to the garage.  Get in your car.  Drive to the closest establishment offering happy hour specials. Give the bartender your car keys and a fifty dollar bill.  Drink until the bartender asks you to leave and calls you a cab.  When you get home, mumble something at your child that sounds like "twitch" and "glass hole" on the way to your room.  Go to sleep knowing you tried your best.
REACTION:  Child can't believe what an idiot you are.  Child can't believe you left without feeding him dinner.  Child hopes none of his friends saw you out drinking.  Child reminds himself he can't wait to move out after he graduates just to get away from you.  Child remembers he needs to do his homework if he hopes to graduate.  Child completes the day's homework.


No comments: