As I explained in the previous post, some of the things that make video games so appealing are that they’re visual, require the player to be actively engaged, and provide frequent reinforcement.
Here are some ways you might harness these principles when helping your child with less pleasant, but more important, activities like homework:
1. Make a nightly “homework list” that allows your child to see exactly what they need to do.
2. Allow your child to use a pencil or highlighter to mark in their books as they read or study so these traditionally passive activities become more active. Even if you have to pay for books it’s worth it if it helps your child with learning.
3. Make lots of small goals and reward your child for reaching them. For example, say “If you can do three math problems in the next 60 seconds I’ll help you with any two problems you choose.” And remember, crossing things off a list can be incredibly reinforcing.
It’s far better for your child to see you as an ally in the homework process than as someone who just nags and fusses at them. And they will if you’re able to use some of the principles that make video games so appealing to help with more challenging tasks.