The Never-ending Homework Battle

Most parents have faced or will face a battle over homework that will last from Kindergarten to 12th grade of high school.  It is exhausting, frustrating, and for some families may set the ground work for relationship difficulties between parent and child for years to come. Here are a few questions to ask yourself that may offer freedom from the above headache’s.
  1. Am I aware of how influential my behaviors are to my child?  When my kids see me yell, they tend to yell.  When my kids see me make messes, my kids tend to make messes.  When they see me excited about completing jobs and tasks, they too will become excited about completing their tasks.  The best predictor of what kind of person my child will become is how they see me behave.
  2. Do I treat my child the way I want to be treated?  The best supervisor’s I’ve had in life were the ones who focused on my strength’s, not on my weaknesses.  The best (and only) wife I’ve ever had also spends more time being thankful for my strength’s, rather than my failures.  Am I doing the same for my child?  When reviewing report cards and responding to parent teacher conferences, I need to first express delight in the ways my kids excel.
  3. Have I over-estimated my ability to control?  Whether we like to admit it or not, there are some things that I don’t have control over, and some things that are not my burden to carry.  Homework is one of those things.  My child’s performance with homework is something I have little, if any control over.  Likewise, I also should not carry the burden of his homework.  When my child sees me carry my own burdens and also sees me allowing him to carry his burdens, he grows up with a belief that his problems are his to carry, and his to solve: a character trait that any employer, spouse, or bank lender finds highly attractive.
So what does this look like in real life?  Perhaps it looks like: “Wow, that really feels good to get that done.  Sometimes I don’t enjoy doing this, but it sure is worth it when I get it completed.” “Great job on History, a B+!  And in English...whoa, an A!  Way to go, man!  Ahh, I see a D-, just barely pulled that one off, huh?  Just curious, do think that one’s gonna get worse or better?  Kiddo, another B+!?  Impressive....” “Oh, man...that’s three missed homework assignments in a row.  Well, I know how much I’d hate it if you were harassing me to get my work done, so I wouldn’t dream of harassing you.  I’m not too worried though, I happen to know for a fact that they offer fifth grade every year and it doesn’t cost a thing for you to take it again.”