Are You Fighting With Your Child Over Homework?

One common complaint that I hear from the parents of some of the children I work with is that they fight and argue when they are helping their kids with their homework. It can be a big struggle and I fully understand that having three kids of my own, two being in elementary school. Homework time at my house can be a battle. Helping them through it is often a tug of war with them, not wanting to do it or struggling through it and me getting frustrated that it’s taking too long, they’re not paying attention, or they’re not trying hard enough.

It’s strange to me that I will work patiently with kids at my clinic who have learning disabilities but be at my most impatient and unhelpful when doing homework with my own children. You might recognize this. My kids, huff and puff, and whine and complain. My first thought? “They would never talk to their teachers that way.” But, what I had to realize is that my kids teachers never speak to them in school, the way I speak to them when helping them with homework. I say things like “No!, Pay attention! You’re not even looking at the book!” Does any of that sound familiar?

“They would never talk to their teachers that way.”

We need to remember how hard it is to learn things and admire them for their ability to learn so much so quickly. For those that have trouble, we need to be consistent in our encouragement of them and with our assistance.

It’s hard. They are looking at the book. They are paying attention. We as parents need to stop, listen to the sound of our own voices and think about the expression on our faces and focus on encouraging and helping these children.

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Jason Spear Miller