What is it about homework that gets everyone’s blood pressure so elevated?
The kids can be slugging each other in the family room, one hair from breaking their skulls open and there may be barely a peep heard. But, when the mom goes on the internet board (for the third time in the day) and finds a missing homework assignment, a storm is unleashed.
Perhaps it’s the symbolism of homework that gets us all crazy. Homework non-compliance taps into all of our fears. When a child does not comply readily or consistently, it understandably strikes a nerve with us. All of the fears about the child’s future are lurking underneath, fueling the firestorm of parental reaction.
Rather than going ballistic over the homework, you might try talking about your fears calmly and honestly with your child.
“The reason I become a ranting banshee over homework is I am scared for you. The deal with homework is that homework is used as a yardstick for whether you are in the school game or not. When you don’t hand in your homework, you’re not in the game. I worry a lot when you’re not in the game. It also sours my mood.
So, from here on I am going to try and stop being a raving lunatic over homework. It’s one way or the other. If you’re in the game, wonderful – you’ve met your basic responsibilities. But if you’re not in the game, please don’t come whining to me about hustling you off to the mall (or wherever) come Friday night. I probably won’t be in a good enough mood. Instead of driving you places, I probably will be working on my mood. No yelling, no punishing, just working on my mood. You decide. Either way is fine.”