DEAR HARRIETTE: Every year at the end of the summer, I require my children to become active with some form of study so they can acclimate back to school. This year, my children are rebelling. I go to work, and when I come home they haven’t completed the work I have given them -- from their teachers. How can I get them to take these responsibilities seriously? -- Study Boycott, Ellicott City, Maryland
DEAR STUDY BOYCOTT: Have a family meeting and remind your children of their duties. Point out that they have not been honoring the agreements that they made with you. Give them a punishment, such as taking away their phones for a day. If the work isn’t completed when they get home, you keep the phones the next day, too. You should pick something to withhold that will be hard for them to live without. This can include hanging out with friends, sleepovers, shopping trips, TV, etc. Be sure to explain why you are asking them to do this work so they don’t think of the homework as a punishment.
(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)Read more in: Family & Parenting | Work & School