Parents who are stressed and exhausted by helping with homework feel that way because they make their child’s homework their problem rather than their child’s. And it needn’t be that way!
Here are three things that you can stop doing right now so that the stress and exhaustion disappears.
Stop trying to ‘teach’ your child
You know the situation. Your child can’t do the work that has been set so you try to show him or her how to do it. You end up ‘teaching’ your child – and this is so not your job!
No wonder you get stressed.
Stop doing your child’s work.
Many parents are so hurried and anxious that they do their child’s homework for them! Parents have stayed up late to get a child’s project finished for a school deadline!
Whose homework is this?
Stop nagging your child to do their homework.
How many times do you remind your child that she has homework to do? Does she resent your nagging? I bet she does!
You get stressed over something that is not your problem.
So what can you do to avoid the stress and to stop your child’s homework being your problem.
* If you try to teach your child how to do the work chances are that you are not using the same method as the teacher – result – confusion.
Tell the teacher.
If your child is struggling to do his homework his teacher needs to know. For one reason or another your child has not learned how to do the work. It is his teacher’s responsibility to make sure that he knows what to do. A good teacher will welcome being told that your child has a problem and will either reteach the lesson or give you some tips about how to help your child.
* If you are doing your child’s work for him you are stopping your child learning.
Homework is set so that your child practices or demonstrates what he has learned. If you do your child’s homework the teacher is going to know how well YOU can do the work, not your child.
Now, if you want to show how clever you are go ahead – just don’t expect your child to get anything out of it!
Discover why your child does not get their work finished. Is it too hard? Too boring? Takes too long? Once you know the reason you can do something about it.
* If you nag your child to get homework done you are stopping your child taking responsibility for their own learning, as well as risking your relationship with your child.
The more you nag the more you take away your child’s sense of responsibility about their work. Your child stops thinking about when he has to do the work because he knows that you will remind him – again, and again, and again!
Set up reasonable expectations around doing homework such as homework will be done straight after dinner or before anyone watches TV. Make sure that your child agrees to them, then expect your child to take the responsibility of keeping to them.
Remember, homework is not your problem. You have other things to worry about and to do. If you spend your time worrying about your child’s homework these will not get done and your child will miss the learning opportunities only you can give him.
Homework is for your child to do – not you! Stop making it your problem and start doing things that will really make a difference to your child’s school success.
If you want tips on how to do this sign up for my free CD and you will also get my newsletter full of tips on the right way to help your child succeed in school.
Dr. Patricia Porter believes that parents make the difference between a child who succeeds in school and one who does not. If you want to know how to help your child reach his or her full learning potential and have the life of their dreams download her free ‘Parent Starter Kit’ at http://www.leading2learning.com.
So true! My kids do their homework after a half hour break from school. I’m there if they need help, but if it takes them longer to do because they’re goofing off rather than focusing, that’s their problem. I give a few reminders to keep on task, but not many. Mostly I try to keep my preschooler out of their hair, which takes far more effort than keeping them on task some days.
My kids have sometimes been frustrated when they turn in big projects and see that the work they did all on their own doesn’t look as nice as the projects turned in by other kids. I always remind them that it’s their work, and while I may offer tips or show them how to find the information they need (depending on age and skill level), it’s really their job, and they can be proud of what they’ve accomplished. I’ve already done my own school projects. I’d rather be proud of their efforts on their school work than of my efforts on their school work.