About 40% of our tutoring business is basically what we term “Homework Help” and it is all because the preteens and teens don’t want to take direction from their parents. You shouldn’t feel bad about yourself as a parent if the connection between you and your child/student disintegrates even more when you are “helping” them with their homework.
It’s hard for all of us to take suggestions from people that are close to us. My involvement with helping my own children with homework looked very much like this:
My Child: “I don’t understand how to do these math problems.”
Me: “Here, let me take a look at them. OK, look back a page or two at the examples and you can see how they are to be done.”
My Child (after 10 more minutes of working on his own and doing a lot of staring): “I still don’t get it.”
Me: “OK, I will work one problem with you and then you can do the rest.”
My Child (after having been shown how to do it): “I still don’t get it.”
Me (crisply): “Really? There is the example and I just showed you how to do it and you still don’t get it?”
My Child: “Well, you don’t have to be snotty about it just because you ‘get’ math.”
Me (trying my hardest to maintain): “Let’s try another problem together.”
My Child: “I really don’t understand all of this.”
Me: (I am quite frustrated at this point and say something that makes him yell and perhaps start crying)
My Child: (Sobbing about homework, school and ME!)
And so the party after school goes. Many kids don’t even like their parents while they are preteens or teens let alone take advice or suggestions from them. But don’t give up on them…they do come around eventually and think you may be smart after all. Of course, this happens when they get married and have children of their own!
Give yourself a break and tell yourself you are a good parent even though your children don’t listen to you or take your suggestions. And if all else fails, remember that you can always call us for “Homework Help”!