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    My son does not like to write and refuses to do the homework. Should I force him to write the homework?

    Team ParentCircle Answered by Team ParentCircle


    Dear Parent,

    I can understand your distress, because writing is such an important skill in school. Rather than force your child to write, understand that there is something about writing that does not make your child feel comfortable - difficulties in reading or in hand-eye and fine motor coordination. Or your child may have had unpleasant experiences such as scolding and punishments for not writing properly. So he could be associating writing activities with stress and fear.

    • Reading skills are the foundation upon which writing skills are built. Make sure your child is able to identify all the alphabets without difficulty, and that his reading ability matches his age. Poor reading skills lead to poor writing skills.
    • Do check whether his grip on the pencil is strong. It requires fine motor coordination skills. Pre-writing activities such as picking grains, threading beads, sand play, modeling clay can help your child improve finger strength and grip.
    • Try playing a short fun game with him before getting him to do his writing work. The attention he gets from you in this informal setting helps him see you as a fun and relaxed person. Besides, a fun game will also relax you from the tension that builds up around your child’s refusal to write. A relaxed state of mind helps you to be more encouraging, and your child more cooperative. It would be helpful to break up the writing task into smaller chunks, with small breaks in-between. Encourage your child’s every effort to write. If his handwriting looks untidy, instead of scolding him, try saying, “Oh this alphabet looks like it’s dancing,” or “ this one looks like it wants to fly.” These statements bring fun into the task and release the tension in your child’s finger muscles.

    In case your child continues to have problems with writing even after trying these tips, you could consider having him evaluated by a special educator who has had training in conducting academic assessments. The sooner your child receives help to overcome his difficulties, the easier it will be for all of you - your child, parents, and teachers.

    Please follow these links for more reading on fine motor skills development:

    The importance of pre-writing skills

    The benefits of sand playing for kids

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