Homework is supposed to be for kids, not parents. Here’s how to help your child take more responsibility for his work – and take some pressure off yourself:

Learn the Homework ABCs

John Rosemond, a family psychologist and author of Ending the Homework Hassle, offers these guidelines:

A is for “All By Myself”: “Put the child in a private space. Homework shouldn’t be done in a family area like the kitchen or the homework itself will soon become a family affair,” says Rosemond.

B is for “Back Off”: “Be very conservative about the amount of help you give your child. Be available to consult, but not to give answers,” advises Rosemond. Younger children may need a little more guidance when they fi rst start doing homework. However, Rosemond suggests that even young kids can study spelling words or vocabulary alone by speaking the words into a tape recorder, pausing for a few seconds, then saying the answer on tape. They can replay the tape later, practicing their own answers during the pauses.

C is for “Call it Quits at a Reasonable Hour”: Give your child a deadline. Rosemond says children shouldn’t do homework after 8 p.m. Unfinished work simply goes back to school the next day. Your child really shouldn’t need to stay up late to finish schoolwork. 

 – Teri Cettina

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