Every child deserves a parent who is involved in all aspects of their life, including school. When a child has homework, it is normal and admirable to help your child with it. When a child has a parent who is involved, they are more likely to complete their assignments and do well in school.
But there is something known as “too much of a good thing,” and homework help is no exception. There are some circumstances where a parent begins to take on too much of the child’s responsibility and ends up completing the homework rather than simply helping. How do you know where to draw the line? What is the difference between a healthily involved parent, and a parent who has gone too far? Here are a few things to think about in regards to this issue.
Does Your Child Immediately Ask for Help?
When your child is working on their homework, do they try it first on their own? Or do they immediately call for you to do the work for them? If you are acting as a tutor, you are on the right track. If you are acting as a student, you have gone too far. Take a step back and insist that your child at least make an attempt to complete their work on their own before asking for assistance.
Inability to Work Alone
After your child has been in school a few years, they should be able to work alone for short periods of time. If your child is old enough, and still insists on having you beside him (or her) at all times, he may be relying on you too much. If your child immediately goes into a state of daydreaming when you leave the table, this could be a sign that your child has become too dependent on your homework help.
Attitude of Entitlement
Does your child seem grateful for the help you give them with their homework? Children will not always have the right manners, or act in an appropriate way. But if your child is consistently grouchy or becomes angry when you ask them to complete any homework, they may have fully shifted the load to you without your knowledge.
Do Friends Have Similar Ability?
Compare notes with your friends who have children of similar ages. Talk with the parents of your child’s schoolmates. Do other children require approximately the same level of parental help? All children will have differing abilities, but children of the same grade level should be approximately on target with their peers.
Do You Feel Resentful?
When you help your child with his homework, does it feel right? Do you feel as though you are helping him to learn a new concept and assisting him in a healthy amount? If you feel resentful, or your help feels like it is too much, there may be truth in your feelings.
Every child deserves a parent who is involved enough to help them with homework. A caring parent will take the time necessary to make sure their child is on the right track with their academics. However, don’t let this good quality reach further and become too much. Assess whether you are helping more than you should and if so, cut back. Your child needs just the right amount of assistance and challenge to develop the good work ethic that will last them throughout life.