Tough Love in Homework

Good study habits start with you

Homework is not easy. You know that, having gone through years in elementary, high school and college with mountains of it on your back. This is why most parents understand the need to help their children with their homework.They know how hard it can be to manage time and to even find the motivation to continue working after a full day in school.

But while helping your kids with their homework is important, doing it for them should not be encouraged. Homework is there not to torture your kids, but to give them the opportunity to learn about hard work and responsibility. It is a teacher’s way of subtly teaching kids that in life you will be given more work than you can imagine and that life isn’t just about fun and games. There are also times when you have to sacrifice leisure for work in order to have the time to fully relax.

Doing the work for them is perhaps the most common mistake that parents make with homework. Because they don’t want their children to have difficulties and to suffer, they do the homework themselves thinking that their kids can learn about it by watching them. Although children can learn about the lesson, they will not have the motivation to utilize that learning. After all, Mommy or Daddy can do it anyway, so why exert the effort? Children also need to know that they have to work and it is their responsibility to do so. Understanding this will help them become more responsible and reliable. 

One of the ways to help your children without doing all the work yourself is to set a specific time for them to do their homework. To help ease them into this new schedule, involve them in the decision making. Ask them what time they prefer to do their homework. Some children find it easier to work when they have already eaten their snacks, relaxed for a while and have done something really fun. There are others who need to work on their homework immediately after school while the lessons are still fresh in their minds.

As difficult as it is to believe, children thrive on schedules and routines. Remember that when children are small everything is new, so whatever you teach them or tell them will feel like the law. That is why it is important for kids to learn at an early age, not only because this is the time when their brain development is at its peak, but also because you will be teaching them core values that they will need when they step out into the real world.

Setting the schedule for them will help make homework time concrete in their minds. The routine will also help them get into the groove of things. When they are used to doing it, it will become automatic. Another technique that parents can use is to provide a study corner with lots of resource materials and references. Having a special place where they can study will motivate children to work.

Compiled by R. Legault.

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