Help Your Child with Homework But Don't Do It!
Are you in a power struggle with your child about his homework? If so, Neil McNerney, our parenting skills expert and author of, Homework: A Parents Guide to Helping Out without Freaking Out, is here to share powerful 2 powerful insights and strategies. I'll share some reactions too.
Why Do We Use Rewards and Punishments? ~ The First Insight
Neil's found that most parents would say, "To change behavior." He says kids want to do well in school but if you push too hard to get them to do their homework, they may push back. Let's imagine as the parent you say,
"Go upstairs and do your homework!" Your independent child might think "'Dad can make me go upstairs to do my homework, but he can't actually make me do it.'" (From page 115)
Neil believes the reason we have consequences for our kids is not to change their behavior but to teach them about life. Why? Life works this way:
1. Do well and good things will probably result.
2. Do poorly and bad things are likely to happen.
The First Strategy for Avoiding Power Struggles
So how does Neil suggest we get out of power struggles and teach our kids how life works? Creating experiences about life is a good way for them to see the bigger picture. For instance, if they don't do their homework and play games or watch TV instead, their grades are likely to suffer. If they do their homework their grades will probably improve.
Second Insight about Power Struggles
We need to lead instead of focusing on whether something is working. Create situations for learning through helping your child experience consequences. Don't look at the results too quickly or, like many parents, you might give up.
Second Strategy for Dealing with Homework Conflicts
Measure your results by YOUR actions, not your child's results. Neil gives the example of establishing a rule like, "When you get your homework done by 8 p.m. ~ you get to play video games. And, of course, Neil advises, "Be consistent." (From pages 115-117)
I like Neil's insights and strategies because they help us Be the Parent. We need to put our left brains in charge with logic and planning. That means we need to think rather than react with lectures, yelling, or demanding. Nobody likes to be on the receiving end of those behaviors, especially our children. Besides they could create consequences that teach our kids the wrong lessons about life.
Teaching kids about the real world is superior to worrying about each little result our child experiences whether it's about homework, chores, or helping others. Like Neil also suggests, let's give up worrying and let our children experience what happens when they avoid their responsibilities. Let's start planning by setting up reasonable rules too.
Give THANKS to Neil McNerney, a professional counselor who also spent 7 years as a school counselor, for sharing his expertise. Neil speaks nationally giving keynotes and workshops. He is also on the faculty at Virginia Tech.
Pick up his book, Homework: A Parents Guide to Helping Out without Freaking Out. You'll learn ways to get rid of constant worry, anger, temper, and guilt. Instead, you'll learn loads of positive parenting strategies.
Available at Amazon.com
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