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Homework Help

“My wife and I have always taken an interest in our children’s homework. Now our children are in high school, it has become increasingly apparent that this behaviour is unwelcome. Should we lessen our interest, or cease it perhaps?”

QUESTION:

My wife and I have always taken an interest in our children’s homework. It has generated many interesting mealtime debates. We always believed this helped our children and boosted their confidence.

Now our children are in high school, it has become increasingly apparent that this behaviour is unwelcome. Should we lessen our interest, or cease it perhaps? At what point does interest become interfering? We are both high school teachers, but not at our children’s school.

ANSWER:

As teachers you clearly understand that parental interest in a child’s schoolwork, including homework, is a key factor in that child performing well at school.

As high school teachers you are also aware that adolescents get to a stage where they want to assert their independence and do not want to be seen as reliant on parental help and opinions.

Insisting that you supervise their homework, or even discuss it, may be counterproductive.

Speak to your children and explain that you realise they are at the stage where they want to, and should take more responsibility for their own work. Make sure, however, that they understand you are still very interested in what they are doing and you are always willing to discuss things if they wish it.

In this way you will give your children the responsibility for, and control over your interactions together concerning their homework. You may be surprised to find that, when it is their choice, your teenagers will not resent accepting help.

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