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I have a few friends who have young teens who are intelligent, personable and doing poorly in school. The reason each parent states is that their kid simply refuses to do homework.

I know that each child is unique and each child has unique reasons for their behavior, but I thought it would be a fun exercise to turn to tarot and simply ask “Why don’t kids do their homework?”

I remember my middle school and high school years. I didn’t always like my homework. I didn’t always do a good job. But not doing my homework simply wasn’t an option. Coming in without my work done would be an embarrassment in front of my peers, disappointing to my parents and would likely have unpleasant consequences. It was unthinkable.

I did have a few friends who were smart but didn’t actually pay attention and do their schoolwork. They dropped out of school as soon as they turned sixteen and went on to have productive lives nonetheless.
The young people to whom I am referring in this post have no desire to drop out. In fact, they envision themselves going to college.

So, let me focus on these students and ask the question “Why don’t kids do their homework?”

After shuffling, I pulled a few cards at random. The first two cards were the Three of Pentacles and the Knight of Pentacles. Clearly these kids are capable of doing their work, and they know it.

Then I pulled the Seven of Swords and the Seven of Cups reversed.  Perhaps these kids don’t find the curriculum to be worthwhile. Maybe the many years of teaching to standardized tests has failed to capture the imagination of our children. It looks like these kids are saying “I can do the work, but why should I? It’s stupid!”

Then I pulled the Ten of Cups. These kids are loved by their families, and secure in their homes. Perhaps they are a bit too secure? Perhaps the families of today simply do not have time to supervise homework or deal out consequences when the homework isn’t done. Perhaps the moms and dads, tired from a day of work, simply want to enjoy their kids and don’t have the energy to fight the daily homework battle.

So then I decided to ask another question. “What can parents in this situation do to get their kids to do their work?”

I pulled four cards – Judgment, Four of Wands reversed, Two of Wands, and Nine of Pentacles reversed. To me the Judgment card says that parents must find a way to be on top of the homework situation every day, no matter what. The Four of Wands reversed suggests that parents should not make noncompliant kids too comfortable in their homes. The Two of Wands suggests that parents need to be clear with their kids about prospects for a future without education. Finally, the Nine of Pentacles reversed suggests that perhaps kids have been made to feel too secure in their financial future. Perhaps some volunteer time at the soup kitchen might serve to remind kids that not every adult is successful, and that now is the time to work hard to assure their own success.

A tarot exercise such as this one can be an interesting way to gain insight into a difficult problem. Try it the next time you have a conundrum!