Parents: The Most Common School-Related Question You NEVER Want To Ask Again…

Posted: September 5, 2012 in For Parents and Guardians
Tags: , , ,

I’m going to keep this real simple parents… never again, as  long as your child is living under your roof, should you ever ask your child the following question:

“Do you have homework tonight?”

Why? Because the only thing that comes of asking this question is a power struggle. If your child answers “yes” they have homework, then you have to figure out how much they have and negotiate when they’re going to do it and for how long… which will surely be debated. And if you’re child answers “no” they don’t have homework, then you’re left wondering if they’re being honest and considering whether or not you want tell them to do some school work anyway… which will also surely lead to a debate.

Sure, there is the argument that young people should be given the opportunities to succeed or fail on their own so they can learn to take ownership of their decisions… and this I agree with… but not too soon. Instead, let your child work for and earn the right to make bad decisions. Don’t make it easy for them to make bad decisions. Set the limits that you know will help them cultivate healthy habits and keep setting the limits that are good for them… at least until they start showing determination to want to learn the hard way (at which time you can either give consequences or let them feel the impact of their own bad decisions). By creating healthy routines and structure regarding learning, you’re giving your kids the best chance to do well… with the added bonus of minimizing the likelihood of those nightly fights you so badly want to avoid.

So instead of ASKING your child if they have homework, starting from day 1 of the school year, simply TELL them to do their hour (or 2… your choice) of school work, and if you want, throw in some milk and cookies (or whatever snacks you choose) as a gesture of affection.  And if and when they tell you that they don’t have any, simply tell them… “that’s fine, so go over your notes, study for an upcoming test or read through the text”. And if you feel so compelled to give them an explanation, just tell them that you’re helping them create good habits that will lead to the freedoms, choices and futures they want.

Obviously, the younger your child is when you start creating healthy routines, the easier they’ll adopt the healthy habits you’re trying to promote. But if you’re starting later in their adolescence to set some limits, be prepared to weather some storms, and keep in your mind the reality that resistance is a part of a teenagers development… though it should never deter you from parenting your child. And by all means, when your child defies you, give them some consequences… but only if you’re also willing to reward them when they start to follow your lead.




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