“You don’t understand Mummy, you’re teaching it the wrong way!” – How to handle stressful homework situations
I am sure that there are many parents reading this that have experienced the odd hiccup when it comes to homework. How can you help your child? How much should you help your child with their homework? If you help, are you not giving the teacher the wrong impression, as the teacher wants to see what they can do not what you can do? It’s a very tricky one.
No one wants to see their child struggling with their homework and most children worry that the teacher will be cross if their homework isn’t completed, no matter how much you tell them not to. Trying your best is a concept that children take time to understand. As a parent, there’s an overriding desire to help our children so this frustration over homework and teacher expectation is hard for us to see in our children. If this is happening time and time again, it is worth speaking to your child’s teacher: the relationship between home and school is key so that parent and teacher are all working together to support and guide the child as much as possible.
So what do you do if your child is becoming anxious over their homework and after a long while at the kitchen table, you start to feel your blood boiling? Try thinking of SOS.
SOS stands for – step back, observe, and step in. I read about this little gem of a technique used by Super Nanny herself, Jo Frost. In fact, I often use it with my eldest son and it has saved me from many a stressful situation I can tell you!
If the homework session is getting stressful…..
STEP BACK – try to mentally step back as well as physically. Take a breath. Remember you are the adult. They are the child.
OBSERVE – ask yourself, what exactly is my child really finding difficult? Think about how you can help. Are they tired? Are they hungry? Are they annoyed because their older brother or sister is relaxing in front of the TV? Have they been set too much to do in the time? Think of all the reasons.
STEP IN – reassure them that you understand why they’re getting upset. Turn off all distractions. Feed them! If the source of anxiety is being increased by any of those reasons then address them, as calmly as you can and with minimal confrontation. Think about jotting a note to your child’s teacher letting them know that your child found that particular work set challenging.
After all, no homework session is worth sweating that much over!