Do you have a school aged child in your home? Does that child go to school? Does that school give homework? If you answered yes to all three of these questions I bet it's safe to assume there are some Homework Wars going on between you and your child.
My colleague, Mercedes Samudio a parent coach and social worker in Southern California and owner of The Parenting Skill wrote an ebook about this just thing: .
Step 1: Pinpointing the root of the problem.
Don’t make assumptions really explore the possible triggers and causes. In the book The Homework Wars: Strategies to Finally Win the Homework Battle Samudio notes “the homework battle is seldom about the actual school work and more about the issues that lay beneath”.
Some helpful questions to ponder:
- Is there a learning disability getting in the way?
- Is your child typically developing?
- What social or emotional barriers could be in the way?
- Are you too involved in? Or not involved enough?
- If age appropriate - if your kid's doing homework it's probably age appropriate - consider your involvement level, what would it look like to back off a little (or for some of us a lot)?
- Is your babe over-scheduled or tired?
- What’s the homework environment like (TV on in the background, really bright lights, too dark, etc.)?
- What’s the energy or stress level like for everyone involved? Including you (especially you)?
Step 2: Your relationship with your child is more important than homework.
I understand that this may not be a popular opinion. But I stand by it. I know you want to best for your baby. And absolutely good study habits and work ethic will take your love far. However, letting your child learn to fail and instilling the fact that you are there to love and support them through anything will take you sweetie farther. Sometimes when we give up control the thing we were trying to control changes naturally.
Step 3: Get support
You don’t have to do this alone. We were not meant to parent alone. Reach out and get support. You are not the only one facing this issue there are many parents struggling and looking for community.
Step 4: Make it fun
Once you’ve considered the first 3 steps and your relationship is in tact you’ll be much better equipped to take on homework again. Loosen up and have some fun. “Eating the frog” is always more enjoyable when we’re having fun.
I know this is a complex issue and you may have many layers wrapped up in the outcome, such as your own childhood issues or community reputation. Try to stay unattached to the outcome and enjoy the journey. Your darling is only young for such a short time. There’s a lovely book that I always reset to when I’m feeling overly attached to outcome, The Parent’s Tao Te Ching by William Martin.