Homework Hassles - The heck with tutions! School performance problems are barriers for growth and a stiff competition for many students. Homework can be the most frustrating problem for many students and parents. Stress makes way with parental interference, herd mentality and lack of school teaching techniques.
Too much of 'Involvement' of parents becomes 'Interference' - Helping kids to cope up becomes confronting and the child sooner or later becomes irresponsible if things are more managed by Parents. Most of time, we find parental influence with words like, "Have you finish..."Don't make spelling mistakes and forget to...", "When are you going to finish English (other subjects)...?" Maths and Science homework is done and there goes a round for other subjects with a nag around storming of words. On the other hand, parents go wild when the child keep saying,"Let me finish my Cartoon....Only ten minutes mom" or "I want to play now...will do my homework after dinner" - Excuses and they end up failing to complete their Homework or learn and follow up lessons !
Kids are smart but I gather Teenagers are Clever ! I've heard students saying, "I lost my book," "I forgot..." and "My stomach is paining" - Finally, comes Homework with tears or the report card comes with horrible grades. The need of the hour is, Children need to understand their responsibility and be accountable for their own work. Often, parents do their small chores like arranging their wardrobe, packing their school bag, etc.
The other day, while standing in my balcony, I spotted a mom carrying the bag of a 7th grade child and she happily hopped beside her excitedly talking and laughing. No, I didn't like the idea of a mom carrying the school bag every day while the child came home from school! The child isn't tired but she's not being made responsible for her attitude. Some time ago, I asked for a scrap book and the child answered, "My mom did not give me the book and the Worksheet file is also at home" - I wonder, why can't parents make Children more responsible for their work! Why the spoon feeding out of love which has negative effect?
In my class, I asked students about their routines after school. I found, children are almost stressed with activities and homework. Moreover, TV and FB - the craze is endless watching and hanging around at Facebook. Parents come and say, "She does not sit for homework till I sit with her" or "She hides and lie to us" and even moms saying, "So much of school work and than the extra activity class, she hardly gets time so sometimes, I help her with all answers and she finish it - "She's slow in writing, so I write for her.." All sorts of excuses and ways to pamper self and the child, I guess. Some child is going for tuition and so she has to go there too, some children go for music/drawing class, so she has to go there too...A herd mentality and follow for too many extra curricular activities end up stress - to the child and to the mom also.
We believe academic standards are upgraded but rather, it can be said that it is downgraded! Too much of work load, too much of confusion and too many assignments with no proper teaching in classroom. Children are losing their childhood and parents don't want their child to make errors! The more involvement in trying to be good parents, they are more anxious about the mistakes either they or the child might make. So, they entrust huge responsibility to prevent mistakes - socially, recreationally and academically and become more responsible parents.
Parents need to teach the child to be 'Respectful' to themselves and other adults. To teach a child respect, parents must also expect obedience. This way, the respectful child pays attention in the class, is eager to please teachers and parents, is curious to know things, acquire information, participates, be work oriented, obeys and follow routines, rules and learning.
Parents need to stop hovering, dictating, checking, correcting, signing, protecting, threatening, pleading, promising, bribing and exasperating in the name of homework. Set up a framework of goals, help them to set up their daily routine Time-table. They don't need to orbit around the guests or waste their precious time in front of TV watching cartoons for longer time and TV serials meant for adults are just - No Way! Give the child a sense of value and worth. Teach them the important domestic skills and strengthen their self esteem. Support them, stand by them and follow the Back to School Pages with 15 rules for success to make best of school days, goals,handwriting and now, Guidelines to Homework Hassles.
Most of the parents have to navigate social, commercial and psychic pressures when children get older and face the teenage issues. Technology also contributes to the erosion of parental authority. Video games or creating their online identities, staying connected is a major concern for parents. Teen Safety is a major issue. To keep the Culture intact is hard and tough raising the children with more Kids having the Power with rising number of parents fighting the tendency to indulge and coddle them.
So, stop the struggle - with lessons, with attitudes, with anxieties. Let kids be more responsible, more organized, strive to be perfect and an Achiever. In trying to reach the moon, stars are on the way.
- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids