Can you help too much?
Increasing competitiveness and assignement overload are causing some parents to do their children's homework for them. Here's advice from expers about what parental input truly helps kids...and what doesn't.
- DO provide your child with a space in the house that is clean, well lit and set aside especially for doing homework.
- DON'T let your kid watch TV, take phone calls or make pit stops at the refrigerator during homework time.
- DO help your child get started on tasks and brainstorm ideas for projects. Ask what topics are of interest to him/her.
- DON'T tell your child the answers. This sends the message that soemone will bail him/her out when faced with a challenge.
- DO praise your child. Educators say that effort is more important than success. Be sure to applaud small milestones.
- DON'T nag or bully your child into getting homework done. Pestering most often breeds resentment, not motivation.
- DO acknowledge homework that is well done. But instead of gifts, let him/her pick and activity, such as a trip to the zoo.
- DON'T bribe your child to do homework by offering money or gifts. This teaches kids to work only for compensation.