The face of homework has changed like most things. Parents and kids stress over homework. Many parents complain it comes in the way of family life and time that would otherwise have been spent doing more fun things with their children.
When I was growing up, my parents did not have to worry about my homework or how I got them done. I did not get a ton of homework, but I knew it was my responsibility to get it done and hand it the next day. And from talking with other parents who were kids in the seventies or eighties, my family was not unique.
It was also our responsibility to figure out how to combine homework with chores and other activities we needed to do daily and weekly.
Today, homework, doing chores, and their use of digital media, top the chart as the significant causes of conflict between parents and their kids.
The tables have turned with who is responsible for homework. It is now our responsibility to know if they have homework. How much homework? When is it due? Has it been done? Often, we are responsible for coming up with a good study routine and plan.
No kidding, homework can be stressful. Especially when you have to work, prepare dinner, and help multiple kids in different grade levels. It could be very exhausting. And when you are stressed, your kids are. What can help you be in better control without feeling burnt out?
Start by fixing your concerns. Most times, we may not be able to control the things around us, but we certainly are capable of controlling how we view or react to them. Write down what your real concerns are. And plan your solutions. Do they include the following?
If you have ever had any of the concerns above, you are not alone. Many of us have felt this way and still do. How can you handle the above situations?
To make it less stressful, spend little blocks of 10, 15 or 20minutes a night with each child. A little done consistently goes a long way. Especially for elementary school. When they get to middle school or high school, they would be older and more mature to plan their own study and homework time which increases with grade level.
For those with multiple children, you could start with the oldest. When you have helped him set up and working on his homework himself(which you should encourage and teach them to do early), and he is confident, you can then move to child B. While older brother is working, you are with child B working simultaneously so you do not spend your entire evening helping with homework.
If they still do not do their homework, well, some schools give some discipline for that. Support the school if your child is, for instance, asked to stay back after school to complete their homework or if they miss their playtime at recess to do their homework. Many kids are not happy to watch their peers playing while they do homework. Often, they improve and start taking their homework serious and begin to see getting their homework done as their responsibility, not yours. You may never have to worry about their homework again!
As you help your child form the habit of keeping up with their homework, gradually let them work independently of you. Teach them to manage their time wisely and get essential things like homework done and out of the way first, and then they can enjoy whatever activity they enjoy doing later. It is an excellent skill for life to do and complete any task they are giving. It teaches them responsibility.
You then become homework-free because they are now in charge of their work. Win, win for everyone.
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