Is it back to school time already? You know what that means. Let the homework battles begin. Maybe you and your kids' teachers don't agree on the amount and type of homework they should be assigned. Maybe your kids struggle with concepts they don't understand. Sometimes you don't even know how to solve those math problems. Maybe you have a stubborn teen who just plain refuses to get their work done on time. Whatever the problem, you can stop those homework battles before they start.
When you and the teacher disagree on assignments:
The teacher is going to win. There's no point in causing a fuss over the amount or type of homework your kids' teachers assign. The curriculum is set. No matter how you feel about it, your kids need to know they have to buckle down and do the work. Don't let them see your disdain. Teach them to respect authority by presenting a parent / teacher united front, even if you don't feel the unity.
When kids struggle with homework:
Some parents are very adept at helping kids through homework struggles and understanding new concepts. Others just aren't familiar with the material. Sometimes you simply don't have a clue what to do when your kids struggle with homework. You're no teacher. What do you do? Relax. Most schools today provide kids with a homework hotline number they can call for advice.
What's the best thing about homework hotlines?
They put the ball in your kids' court. When parents stand back and let kids take responsibility for getting homework done, they give them two gifts. First of all, there is a sense of accomplishment. Secondly, there is a sense of independence. School work is all about preparation for life. By handling small homework battles on their own, kids make gradual progress toward adult responsibility.
When teens rebel against homework:
Let them take the fall. That's right. Don't make excuses for them. Don't step in and do the work. Don't coddle them. They'll soon find out how embarrassing it is to be the only one in class who doesn't have their assignments done. Their grades will fall. Do talk to them about the importance of getting their assignments done as it pertains to success in life. Don't take the fall for them or take it as a personal parenting insult. It's not about you, it's about them. They'll be the ones living with their mistakes.
Scheduling and planning is key:
Sometimes fighting homework battles is as simple as being prepared. Do your kids have a quiet place to study? Do they have a set homework time? Do you make sure they get a snack and a little rest before tackling school work after school hours? Each child is different. Find a schedule that works for them and encourage them to stick with it. Most of all, be their best cheerleader. More than anything, they need your support and understanding.
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