Making Teen Boys Do Their Homework

Teenage boy doing homework at kitchen table
There may be a valid reason behind why your son doesn't want to do his homework. (Image: Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

You were a teen once, which is why you know firsthand that it may not be fun for your teenage son to do his homework, but as soon as he’s done he’ll have all weekend to focus on the fun stuff. You are intelligent enough to see it that way now, but your teenage son may not see it that way just yet. If it bores him, challenges him or makes him feel insecure, he may try to avoid it all together. Motivate your son to get his homework done by giving him some freedom and helping him get organized.

Keep Your Expectations Reasonable

You may think that your son won’t do his homework because he’s lazy, but the truth might be different. According to familyeducation.com, your son may not want to do his homework because he is rebelling against your high expectations. If you constantly remind him that you had a perfect grade point average in high school and point out his older sister’s high honors, he might rebel. If the pressure is too much for him, he may feel like a failure that is unable to perform to the high standards of excellence you have for him, and that may cause him to shut down and give up. Keep your expectations realistic; just because you had a perfect grade point average doesn’t mean he will.

Let Him Do it His Way

If you want your son to do his homework, let him do it his way, according to WebMD. Maybe you want him to get it done right after school or at the desk in the study or in a quiet room, but he knows he works better if he has a chance to unwind after he gets home and that he concentrates better when he’s propped up in his bed listening to his favorite music. Your way of doing it might not be how he wants to do it, or how he concentrates. If you want him to do his homework, let him do it on his own terms as long as it gets done on time and before he goes to bed at a reasonable hour.

Help Him Get Organized

According to an excerpt from “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Parenting a Teenager” by Kate Kelly appearing on familyeducation.com, you have a better chance of making your teenage son do his homework if he is better organized. He may feel discouraged doing his homework and want to give up if he has to get up constantly to get more paper, or a better pen or some other item he needs to get his homework done. Help him create binders or folders with his notes from class organized by subject or even a basket he can grab on his way to do his homework that has all his school books, a dictionary, writing utensils and anything else he uses regularly to do his homework.

Help When Needed

Your son may feel unmotivated to do his homework because it is too challenging for him. If he is frustrated, you may be able to motivate him to do his homework by being there for him. According to KidsHealth, you should be there to offer help and support if he needs it. Don’t crowd him while he’s doing his homework, but stick around and occasionally ask him if he needs any help or if he wants you to look at anything. If you cannot help him with a certain subject, consider calling his teacher to ask for help.

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