Parents need to change their own attitude and behaviour if they want to improve their child's motivation to complete homework, says a new study.
In the study Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers found that if parents had a more positive, supportive attitude and communicated the learning value as motivation, rather than focusing on completing an assignment or getting a higher grade, then the child's attitude and motivation would improve.
Dr. Idit Katz, Dr. Avi Kaplan and doctoral student Tamara Buzukashvily, of BGU's Department of Education, recommend parents give their children some choices, including when or where to do homework.
"Parents can improve a sense of competence by allowing children to structure their own tasks and by giving the child the feeling that he is loved and admired no matter how successful he or she is in math or language," the researchers said.
The study also shows that parents should ask themselves about their own motivations, attitudes and competence before trying to "treat" or "change" the child.
Moreover, educational programs that try to change the attitude and motivation of students toward homework should not keep the parents "out of the loop" as their behaviour is essential.
"The home environment is just as important for instilling positive motivation as the school is," according to the study.
The study was published in Learning and Individual Differences.