Parents Role in the Context of Homework


What is the Parents Role with Homework?

Do you remember those kids in school who got straight As yet did not seem that smart?  Chances are their parents were helping them with their homework or possibly even doing the homework on their behalf.  This raises the question of whether it is prudent – or fair – for parents to lend assistance with homework, projects and studying for tests. So what is the parent’s role?

“For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.” – 2 Thessalonians 3:10

Self-Reliance and the DIY Ethos

You have likely heard the phrase, “Fake it ‘till you make it.”  Though this line of thought rings true in certain situations, it is not a motto to live by.  We are living in the age of self-reliance in which individuals with the DIY (do it yourself) mentality succeed.  It has never been easier to launch a business, learn new skills and improve one’s lot in life.  This is precisely why you should limit your contributions to your child’s homework, projects and studying.  After all, the teacher is not grading your intellect and work ethic.  Rather, it is your child who should be graded. 

If you were to do some or all of your child’s homework, your little one would assume cheating and a reliance on others is an acceptable shortcut to success.  The earlier you teach your kids that hard work leads to wealth and happiness, the better off they will be in the long run.

Be Supportive of Your Child

A parent’s primary role in the context of homework is to be supportive.  Encourage your child to proactively approach homework, completing it as early and comprehensively as possible.  It will certainly help to provide positive reinforcement in the form of screen time, a snack or even an allowance.  Dangle these rewards for timely and thorough homework completion and your kids will prove much more likely to embrace these academic challenges on their own rather than procrastinate or skip them altogether.

How to Help With Homework

Do not immediately lend assistance when it appears as though your child is struggling with homework.  Give your child some time and space to figure out the solution on his or her own.  Let your little one know mom and dad are available to help with especially difficult homework challenges. 

However, you should also make it abundantly clear the onus of homework is squarely on your child.  Otherwise, your little bundle of joy will rush over to you for help when even the slightest confusion arises.  Such an overreliance on parents prevents your child from developing his or her problem-solving ability and critical thinking skills.

Be Flexible

Your child’s learning style might not be the same as yours or that of his or her peers.  Furthermore, your child might prefer to expend some energy after school by playing sports in the neighborhood before beginning homework.  The moral of this story is to avoid setting rigid constraints pertaining to homework. 

Let your kids set their own after-school schedule to a certain extent, allowing for some unstructured time.  This flexible approach empowers your kids to take on the challenges of homework when they are in the mindset to learn, solve problems and retain information.

Provide Suggestions Rather Than Solutions

Your little one will undoubtedly ask questions about homework.  However, it is a mistake to quickly provide the solution without forcing your child to think critically and carefully.  Try to steer your child toward the solution rather than providing him or her with answers to homework questions.

Float out some suggestions, counter your child’s questions with questions of your own to spur critical thinking and your child will eventually piece the puzzle together in a self-reliant manner.  This self-reliance ultimately makes your child that much more independent and proactive, setting the stage for a successful academic and professional career in the years ahead.