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Homework Parenting Advice - Beyond The Obvious


There's a ton of advice out there about how parents can help their kids deal with their homework.  A good deal of it falls into the "eat right and exercise regularly" type.  Such as:  have a consistent time for homework; have few distractions; don't do the homework for your child.  So why is it that, regardless of how well we try to follow this advice, we end up not being helpful?  Why do things end up in a shouting match?  Or a silent standoff?  If you haven't experienced a silent standoff, let me explain:  It's when your child will still stay in the room, with pencil in hand, but just sits there saying nothing and doing nothing.

I read a good article this morning from a parenting expert and I want to emphasize some of her points, which I think are crucial:

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Secrets to Ending Homework Battles

Let me be a spoiler right away and tell you that there are no "secrets" in this article, but some really good stuff to keep in mind:

Insist homework be her responsibility not yours

I really like this one, but the question is: Who am I trying to convince that the homework is her responsibility?  We tend to get into the trap of trying to convince the child, instead of convincing ourselves. "It's not MY homework, It's not MY homework" should be a mantra we tell ourselves, instead of trying to convince our kids of this.
Consider a getting a tutor

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This is advice that I know a ton of well meaning parents don't like. "Why should I hire someone to do something I should be doing?  It's not like I don't understand fractions."  The problem is that for most of us, it's really hard to stay calm and focused when it's our own child. There are so many emotions tied up in the parent/child bond that sometimes it's hard for both people to struggle through homework.

So keep these in mind, give it a try, and see how it works! I would love to hear your results!

Neil McNerney, LPC



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