Are you out there in that land called Homework Non-Compliance Land? Do you find yourself over-worrying while your child has a very different approach to his responsibilities like homework?
There are some tell-tale signs (all told to me recently):
- Maybe you are finishing your child’s homework project while your child is at a sporting event.
- You use the word “we,” a lot, as in “we have a big project to do.”
- There are daily, (or multiple times a day) where you are logging on to the school’s website where they track grades and assignments.
- Worse than above, you are waking in a cold sweat in the middle of the night worried about your kid’s project while once again logging on to the school’s website.
- While you are either doing your kid’s project, he is either hanging on YouTube, texting his friends or playing his final battle of “Call of Duty” while you spend the night churning over the homework worry.
- On a “worry scale” over homework you rank yourself a 10 (highest) while your kid is a 1. (That is, you are worrying about homework a lot, while your kid not at all.)
What’s the hidden agenda of homework?
It isn’t learning. There is very little learning taking place with homework. Do any of you remember any homework assignments you ever did?
Underneath homework is a societal agenda. It’s the way we teach kids to be responsible. It’s their job. To meet the deadline. To show up on time. To manage your time.
You know, the usual stuff.
So, what happens if your kid blows off his job?
To answer that, over the next week try this exercise. Start on Sunday and go through a whole week, making a list of everything you do for your child or that your child takes for granted. On the list would be anything beyond food and shelter.
I will start you up:
- Owns an iPad.
- Access to iPad if doesn’t have own..
- Access to internet.
- Access to cell phone.
- Video game playing.
- Access to playing games on line.
- “Play dates.”
- Soccer, karate, basketball, gymnastics, dance, etc.
- Lots of fun restaurants (especially the kid friendly ones that have their own iPads at the table).
Keep going. Write it all down.
Every time you are doing something for your child or your child engages with an activity or task that really is a privilege, get it down on the list.
Where we are going with this is that most kids are on a one way street and we don’t even think about it or know it. The street is not called the “The Give and You Get Street,” rather it is the “Don’t Give and You Get Street.”
When kids are living on “Don’t Give and You Get Street,” we come up with all kinds of explanations. Maybe it’s his diet. Maybe he’s ADD. Maybe it’s sensory.
Nope, this is a street that most modern kids reside. ‘
Why not? It’s a cushy gig.
Next week we will talk more about the street and how you may get your child on a different one.