Creative Punishments for Youth Forgetting Homework

If you've gotten yet another call from your child's school reporting that he's forgotten his homework, you're probably out of patience.

Whether your child is forgetful or just doesn't want to do his homework, he needs to get it done anyway. A few creative punishments might be just the motivation he needs to get himself in gear and do his homework on time.

Natural Consequences

Instead of yelling at your child when he's, once again, forgotten his homework, let him experience the natural consequences of not turning it in on time. Elementary teachers might take away recess time and high school teachers might require the student to do an extra assignment as a punishment for being late. A poor grade is another example of a natural consequence.

When your child gets the punishment and is upset, remind him that it's his job to do his homework on time. Once he realizes that he has the power to avoid natural consequences, he might be more likely to buckle down and get his homework done.

Home Homework

Boy with homework

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If your child keeps forgetting her homework, create additional assignments that she has to do on top of her usual assignments. Make the assignments boring, such as writing the numbers one through 100 as neatly as possible or making a list of 26 adjectives -- one that starts with each letter of the alphabet. If your child knows she'll have even more work to do if she doesn't get her homework done, she might be more likely to get it done on her own. You might use unpleasant chores instead of written work, too, according to the Focus on the Family website.

If she doesn't get her homework done on time, ask her to wash the floor or wipe all of the doorknobs in your home. The more boring the chore, the more likely she is to get her school work done on time the next time around.

Reward System

Establish an incentive program to motivate your child to do his homework, the National Association of School Psychologists suggests. You might give him a point each time he turns his homework in on time. After he gets a certain number of points, he can exchange them for a prize. The punishment comes in when he doesn't do his homework.

If you're handing out points, perhaps he doesn't get one if he fails to do his homework or you might even take a point that he's already earned if his work isn't done on time. Not getting the reward is often plenty of incentive for a child to get busy and get his school work done when he's supposed to.

Make Her Pay

Boy with homework

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Making her pay might sound ominous, but it simply means she has to give you some of her spending money each time she fails to get her homework done. You can choose how much to charge, such as $1 for an assignment that was a day late, $2 if it was two days late or $5 if your child just didn't do the homework at all. The amount you charge depends on how much allowance your child gets.

If she isn't motivated and you've taken all of her money already, make her work off what she still owes you by doing jobs around the house. The first time she isn't able to buy something she really wants, she'll probably reconsider doing her homework the next time around.