Homework has to be the bane of parenting a school age child.
We all know the stress it can bring to our evenings! What can we do to change that?
I have two school-age kids. One does his homework on his own, and the other needs to be sat down with a parent helping him.
Everyone’s experienced it: Your kid is not interested in sitting down to do his homework, and when you make him he just can’t focus and get it done.
The frustration is slowly (or rapidly) building.
Your tone of voice starts changing and your body language is expressing anger.
Worst case scenario you start raising your voice and berating your child.
Let’s pause for a moment and do an assessment:
What is a long-term value you would like your child to have by the time he graduates school?
I would venture to say we all want our childrent to develop a love for learning.
If that is indeed our end goal, then it is something we need to keep in mind in our approach to homework time.
During homework time we have three choices:
1) Keep the atmosphere light with a lot of positive encouragement.
A way to do this is by expecting less of your child during homework time.
Whatever they are supposed to be accomplishing, be happy if half of it gets done.
That way you won’t be so frustrated when he only gets half of it done!
2) When frustration begins building, switch with the other parent if they are in a better frame of mind.
3) If kid is just not up to it, end homework session and try again later in the evening or in the morning before school.
If your kid doesn’t seem to be “getting it” after they have been trying for a while, then just call it a day. You could send in a note to their teacher explaining they tried and this was the best they could do.
Trying to get them to finish when they don’t have it in them will not benefit them in any way.
It is just not worth the negative associations that will develop towards learning, for the little bit they will learn during homework time.
Better they should not do their homework and at least preserve positive associations with learning.
Homework has its benefits and its stresses, so lets maximize its benefits and keep its downside to a minimum!