Guide on the side
Now that your child has discovered that it’s single-tasking, not multitasking, that saves time, you can be prepared to offer help. It may well be that the information your child discovered reveals a clear solution. If reading texts and emails as they come in while doing homework is the big time sink, they won’t need you to suggest they turn off their phone or email.
You don’t want to intrude on your child building independent study skills, but here are some suggestions if they ask for guidance.
- Turn off social media, messaging, and email
- Silence their phones
- Keep a healthy snack and water nearby so they won’t have to leave their work area
- Set a timer for regular breaks—about twenty minutes of focused work, then a five-minute break or 45-minutes and a 10-minute break. Knowing they’ll have a break to do things they choose, such as chatting with friends, checking email, texts, Facebook or other social media, playing a video game, or doing some physical activity, will keep their brains more focused because they won’t be distracted by FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out.
- Limit web browsing, even when homework involves getting information from websites. Often, while looking at websites for homework assignments, tempting links to things of more interest than the assignment appear. To reduce the brain stress response from concern they won’t find those websites later, suggest they copy the links onto a list of sites they can visit when time permits.
- Encourage them to write down what worked. The list will be a “go-to” resource for when they need to stay on track.
To help your children continue to use the process of self-assessment while becoming more independent, guide them to recognize the progress and positive outcomes that result from their insights and efforts.
Make your own observations of their progress without sharing them immediately. After you’ve written down what you’ve noticed over a period of time, invite your children to tell you how their plans are working out. If they need some helpful prompting, you can ask questions, especially related to the goals they wanted to achieve and on which they were working.
Did you finish your assignments in less time, remember more in class, join in discussions, feel more alert, and recall things from the homework that helped ease studying for the test? What fun are you having with the extra free time now that you finish your homework quicker?
The other approach, if they are not recognizing their progress, is for you to go to your list of observations and share what you’ve noticed. Perhaps they are more relaxed, not scrambling as much at the last minute, getting more sleep, or enjoying more free time.
If you no longer have to nag them, that is certainly worth pointing out. Promoting a happier home may, indeed, be the best benefit of all.
Written By Judy Willis Originally Appeared In Psychology Today Republished with permission
Multitasking may seem like a good idea and a desirable shortcut for getting things done. But, in reality, it actually isn’t. This practice can sometimes end up doing more harm than good when it comes to your kids’ studies and also their mental and personal growth. So, guide them on how not to rely on multitasking very often, and see them progress by leaps and bounds.