Teens, homework timetables, and restricting technology.

This morning I have been researching motivation and revision help for teens.

I am losing the will to continue calm cajoling, and am close to screaming and shouting, although it might make me feel better for 5 minutes I know this will get us nowhere.

In my search for a new innovative  miracle I came across this, not what I was looking for:


Which reminded me!

This year my son has been on his game system more than ever before, he chats with friends and they use it as a social get together in the evening.

Our son is a good student, we’ve always trusted him and he was on track with his grades, but now they have slipped and as it’s GCSE’s starting in May it’s time for action.  There are lots of tips but I think this is the one we need to go back to.

Establish a routine. Send the message that schoolwork is a top priority with ground rules like setting a regular time and place each day for revision to be done. And make it clear that there’s no TV, phone calls, video game-playing, etc., until it’s done and checked.

We used to do this, what happened?

When things are going well we can all get a little complacent, relax the rules a bit and forget routine.

The important thing is not to panic.  Child development experts with the Kids Health website say the good news is, not putting school work as a priority doesn’t mean they lack motivation in general. Teens see other things as being more important, like Social activities. Parents can help by explaining the benefits of why schoolwork needs to take a higher priority over other activities even though it takes time to do.

Teens may need incentives to get them to buckle down and do a bit of revision every night. Besides rewarding with treats for completing assignments, make it clear what the consequences will be if they don’t study when supposed to, (no social media usually works).  Making rules for doing homework/revision teaches your teen to be responsible and self-disciplined as you prepare them for life in the real world.

So we have had a discussion and today’s homework and revision has gone well, it has taken up most of his day (including a few breaks) as from now the old regime is back.

teens homework

Now we just need to keep it up until GCSE’s!


Six Degrees Of Harmony


  1. September 29, 2015 / 18:23

    I feel your pain on this subject… It’s tough because you want your teens to become responsible and make independent choices – but you also want them to make the right choices. I have to admit that I don’t limit the devices, on the understanding all homework is done first!

    • September 29, 2015 / 19:58

      Yes homework first is the best way.

  2. September 29, 2015 / 16:46

    I can see this being a problem for us in years to come. I agree that routine and setting out ground rules are great ideas. Children respond better when they know what is expected of them.

    • September 29, 2015 / 18:05

      Yes they do, we set a start time and it really helps.

  3. September 25, 2015 / 18:27

    I think the subject of teens and homework will always be a problem. My teen does not get homework every night, and when he does he has a good few days to do it. He is pretty good at doing it (with only a small amount of mithering) so feel that its not too much of a problem. But I suspect as he gets older it could be. Hope things have improved for you all x

    • September 26, 2015 / 11:13

      This year he seems to be back to how he used to be, which is good. x

  4. Louisa
    December 6, 2014 / 18:09

    We had to implement similar with our teen and have now included all the kids in it. Knowing that they can go on a game and relax afterwards is a good incentive to make them buckle down. Your priorities are so different when you have raging hormones that a gentle nudge in the right direction is often needed 😉 #familyfriday

    • December 6, 2014 / 18:23

      Thanks, it’s good to know we’re all dealing with the same issues.

  5. Jenni
    December 3, 2014 / 18:19

    Interesting post and it reminds me a lot of when I was at school. I remember I used to spend hours and hours on the computer playing The Sims and chatting rubbish to my friends on MSN, but I did manage to work hard at school somehow too. I think kids sometimes need reminding that the work they do at school can really help them to succeed in the future and get a job that they enjoy. And that’s the sort of thing that gave me motivation to really knuckle down. It was a case of work hard play (the sims) hard 🙂
    Though it’s worth noting I don’t actually have my own kids yet so can’t actually pass on any first hand words of wisdom… 😛

    • December 3, 2014 / 19:39

      Thanks for your comment Jenni, I do tell him working hard gives you choices, let’s hope it sinks in.

  6. December 1, 2014 / 11:20

    This is EXACTLY what we are implementing right now! Older son got on just fine when he moved to secondary school but younger one is struggling more and we have been too lax in keeping him on track. We now have routines, limited technology time(to be fair we had this anyway), LOTS of help where we can and motivational talks as well as a system of points for his test results with prizes! (and they get a lot of tests in France). Hopefully in time this will lead to the self discipline that he needs to achieve without us having to push him each day.

    • December 1, 2014 / 11:26

      Totally agree with you about the discipline & not relying on us to push them, hopefully we will see them improve.

      • December 2, 2014 / 07:10

        I discovered something interesting yesterday whilst helping him with his homework: he had not been taught HOW to research something. He had a series of multiple choice questions of Pericles so went to Wikipedia but there was just too much information there to find the bits he needed. So I suggested he look in the dictionary first (they have all been given some very good dictionaries from school) and then helped him to ask the right sort of questions on Google for the further info he needed. Simple when you know how but at 11 years old he had not worked out the best way to do this piece of homework and needed guiding.

        • December 2, 2014 / 09:12

          I think Teachers leave some things for parents to do, it’s good we’re able to point them in the right direction.

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