Top 5 homework helper mistakes and how to avoid them

By: Mar 07, 2014
Top 5 homework helper mistakes and how to avoid them

When it comes to helping your kids with homework, there are ways that can help and ways that can hinder.

Parents with the best intentions can sabotage homework time and cause more harm than good. Below are the top homework helper mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.

1. Turn on the pressure

It is fine for parents to support and encourage, but adding pressure to get good grades or score high on exams hurts more than helps. You may want your children to do well in school, but making them feel like you only care about performance can impede confidence and promote low self-esteem. Try to avoid telling your kids that they have to get top scores, and instead, encourage them to work hard. Model for them that hard work pays off, rather than telling them they must do well. Encouragement goes a long way when helping with homework and studies.

2. Complete the work for them

When it’s late at night and all you want to do is go to bed, but your child has hours of homework to complete, the last thing you should do is complete the work for them. Your child will not benefit from this kind of assistance. It can be difficult, but parents must resist the temptation to take over and “just get it done.” If the work is taking too long and your child struggles, consider a tutor or meet with the teacher to determine better methods of study.

3. Hover and judge

Hovering over your child’s workspace or desk while they are working on their homework will backfire. Productivity is hindered when a child feels like the parent is looking over their shoulder scrutinizing every move. Communicate with your child that you are available if they have a question, otherwise leave the room and allow them freedom to concentrate.

4. Not adhering to a workable routine

Some parents assume their children will get the work done and allow a lot of freedom to play video games, hang out with friends, or watch television. Sure, you don’t want to hover like a drill sergeant, but you also don’t want to assume the work is getting done. Work with your child to select a time of day that is consistent, usually before recreational time. This is a time set for your child to work on their homework. Consistency helps create responsibility and good habits.

5. Enforcing a routine that doesn’t help

While some children are able to get their homework done immediately following school, others may prefer an after dinner routine. If you find yourself constantly battling wills to complete homework, try changing the routine. Discuss a time with your child that works and find out why they are unable to focus at the designated time. When you work together, both child and parent can eliminate struggles.