Why Parents Should Stop Trying To “Fix” Homework Anxiety

Homework tears yet?

One thing I’m working on is letting my kids have some time in their struggle before I jump in to “fix” it.

As parents, we are tired at the end of the day too. We want the homework over with as much as they do and we, just like our kids, have probably used most of our mojo for the day already. This leaves us tired with less capacity to do our best work as parents.

Slowing down and understanding your child’s perspective and experience can be really valuable. Instead of forcing the homework, we can take time to ask questions and understand.

Ross Greene, author of The Explosive Child, recommends identifying the difficulty and asking the question “what’s up?”

This is the sentence frame.

  • “I noticed you’re having difficulty with….what’s up?” Now, just listen.
  • “I noticed you’re having difficulty getting started on your math every night, what’s up?”

Adults jump right into problem solving when we may not truly understand the problem. Often what our kids need from us is not a math tutorial, it’s just to be heard and understood by you.

So give curiosity and listening a try. In the long run, building these foundations of trust and communication will be more valuable than their ability to comply with their thirty minute nightly reading.

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