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Developing child’s homework and study habits


Daily tooth brushing habits.

The habit of making the bed every morning.

The habit of going to school.

Habits develop and it’s a process. Some of us need less time, some more, but in any case, it needs time and patience. Especially parents.

Experts say we need 21 days to adopt a new habit. At a glance, maybe it doesn’t seem that long and hard, but than what. It’s not the end. After that, the process of consolidation and maintenance begins so that it truly becomes a habit for us - automatic, and we don't think about its application. 

So, before starting to adopt a new habit it’s good to know:


- Preparation is half the job.

You can prepare, mentally and physically, for what awaits you. You can study the literature. You can for the advice how and what is the best for you and your child.

- Start with one habit.  

Parents would like everything at once: they want a child to wash his face in the morning and to eat healthy and to be active and to write his homework on time and to... All at once! They want everything and immediately. Well, it can’t. It doesn’t go like that.  Habits are learned linearly; one by one. 

- Developing habits is not a sprint; it’s a marathon.

It takes time. But it shouldn't be tiring (not all the time, not always); everything can be turned into a game and time together with the child.

What about school? Studying, homework, projects,… Of course, these three items can be applied to them as well. And the previous (developed) habits help a lot, but starting school is the time to adopt new ones. (And you don't need to worry about the fact that parents have a younger and/or older student, and they haven't yet developed the habit of studying. It's never too late to start!)

Here are 5 guidelines to develop the habit of studying:

1. adopting (a different) parental mindset.

Parental mindset is the term I like to use to demonstrate the way parents see themselves as a person and as a parent; how do they see their parenting; their children and school. All parents have it, but each one functions in its own way, conditioned by the way of life, growing up, learning of each of us.

Unfortunately, society (people) still sees a child as half-human. They see them as little and incompetent and that adults have to make him the way they imagined him to be. Of course, all this is far from the truth!

Children are not only smarter than us adults, but also very capable of doing a lot of things, which adults think they are incapable of (because they are little).

They are very capable of learning to take care of themselves, make decisions for themselves, their education, learning, independently and responsibly fulfill all their obligations long before adults think so. They just need to let them.

That’s why parents should stop using these phrases:

- ‘Mum/ dad will do it for you’, too often performing those actions that the child can do alone, harms the child's development,

- ‘WE will do it’ , The pronoun WE should be replaced by the pronoun YOU so that we nurture the child's responsibility from an early age.

2. Show your child understanding. 

Understanding, trust, love are the basic human needs and if they are not meet there is no learning, no meaning.

In order to meet child’s needs, parents show the child trust, by believing in themselves, their parenting skills and knowledge, and believing in their child.

3. Cultivating the child’s responsibility 

What is child’s responsibility in the family? Does he do his chores? Which ones? Does she put away her toys, tidy up her room, her desk? These are the chores that parents agree on with kids and through which they develop independence and responsibility.

Parents very often correct kids because they have the need to protect the child, and because of the way we see the child. What happens then?

Here’s an example (from one of my counseling sessions) when a child got a bad mark on a test. After perhaps the first shock, then anger and arguments with the child, mum begin to correct it by taking the responsibility upon herself, saying: ‘You have to correct the grade, you have to do this, this and that’.

I asked her what the child was doing that time. She was surprised by the question; we usually don’t see or think of a child at that moment. But she recalled: nothing. He just stood there, saying nothing, asking nothing, as if he wasn’t there.

So, what did he learn from that?

The goal is that a child learns the things form the test but, even more important, how to solve these cases in the future. On his own. Capable. Competent. Confidently.

(P.S. the mum from the session managed to do this, the way I advised her. Although she was impatient and wanted to do it her way, I encouraged her to be persistent. She did interfere every now and then but she managed to let her son do the most of the work. It took a little longer and his way but he got a better grade.)

So the best way for a child to learn is to offer help and guidance instead the solution. Ask the child what is he going to do about school. Parents are there to help him organize and plan. The most important things, such as the decision and implementation are up to the child. 

4. Creating a daily learning routine

It’s important that a child always learn in the same place. A desk or a child's corner where he always studies can help develop the habit of studying, but also develops concentration and focus on work. Time is just as important.

With a daily/ weekly/ monthly plan of his studying and all of his activities, specified by time, priorities, length… child’s learns organizing, planning, prioritizing, decision making first hand.

5. How parents speak of learning/ studying 

Parents set an example to their kids; they are kid’s first, the best and the most important teachers. It’s important what parents think and feel because kids feel what goes on with their parents and even take over their parents thoughts and actions. A lot of people are not aware of their thoughts and feelings about school and learning. A lot of parents I work with, don't have a good experience and memories of school and, even though they don't want it, they pass it on negatively to their children.

Although learning is an integral part of every human since birth; learning is necessary for humanity, while I work as a teacher and now, I see a lot of child unhappy at school. They don’t like to study, they procrastinate and refuse to study. No one can influence teacher to do things your way, but you, as a parent, can bring more happiness and joy to your child’s learning. (And, of course, maintain open and positive communication with your child’s teachers).

Creating study habits in accordance with the child and his needs can help with this.



My name is Dragana Pavičić. I’m a parent support advisor and CroForKids teacher.

Though individual counseling sessions- School Talk and the only specialized language learning programs- CroForKids, I help Expat parents and children prepare for Croatian school, emotionally, socially, cognitive, make it easier for kids to adjust to new school, and make Croatia better for you and your child(ren).

How can we work together?


CroForKids programs: Learning Croatian by meeting child’s needs and interests!

CroForKis+ for preschoolers course: Croatian learning and exercises for kids to prepare them emotionally, socially, cognitive, starts on April 16.


Free workshop for parents Starting (Cro) school, on April 9th, 10am (Croatian time); all the info about school system, preparations and so much more. Your chance to ask everything what’s on your mind.



Need a (School) talk? Get personalized help and support with your expert guide to Croatian school! First and foremost, let's get to know each other. When you need help with what is most valuable in your life - your children, you need a person who gives you confidence, with whom you share confidence and same values. That's why I invite you to connect with me through a free 30-minute consultation.

Introduce me to your child and your Cro school story, I will listen to you carefully and give you feedback on what and how can I help you .

Book your free 30 minute session here.


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