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HOW TO BECOME YOUR CHILD’S ALLY

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd December 2002 03:00 AM

If your home has turned into a battle ground over homework and antagonistic attitudes have crept in between you and your child, it’s time to replace the antagonism with alliance.

If your home has turned into a battle ground over homework and antagonistic attitudes have crept in between you and your child, it’s time to replace the antagonism with alliance.

Homework Cannot Be A Power Struggle Between Parent And Child Because It Is Part Of Schooling
If your home has turned into a battle ground over homework and antagonistic attitudes have crept in between you and your child, it’s time to replace the antagonism with alliance.
Homework cannot be a power struggle because it is a long-term fact of life for students. The atmosphere surrounding it needs to be clarified and the conflict neutralised.
Parents need to understand children can feel overwhelmed by assignments in several subjects. Long-term projects, studying for tests, and difficult homework could send your student into an emotional tailspin. This manifests itself in apathy that can quickly turn into hostility.
These students, do not possess the study and organisational skills needed to attack a complex workload.
When you send your child to their bedroom to do their homework, your child may go, but if he doesn’t know where or how to begin, nothing gets accomplished.
But when you offer assistance, you’re showing your child that you understand and are committed to helping.
This action, coupled with the important words like ‘we’ and ‘us’, will be the first step toward your child’s success in school.

Parent-teacher contact
Together with your child’s teacher develop a strategy for success before problems occur.
When you know there are negative patterns in your child’s homework habits, see the teacher. Do this at the beginning of the term, preferably the first term, before bad habits surface. Do not wait until third term after grades have irretrievably fallen.
Teachers appreciate parents who contact them, giving them background they may not have, and exhibit a strong desire to work together. This helps the teacher spot and meet problems as they arise, not after they are full blown.
The child has the added benefit of knowing the adults in his or her life are working together. With this winning combination, students trade poor grades for better ones.

Develop a workable strategy
Most parents and teachers do not have time for daily communication about homework, but frequent contact needs to occur. Using a homework sheet or book helps. The sheet has spaces for assignments and is clipped into the front of the student’s notebook. When an assignment is given, the child writes it down. At the end of the class, the student brings it to the teacher.
The teacher initials the recorded assignment, signalling the parents it was recorded correctly. Tests and long-term assignments must also be written down.
At home, parents check the homework sheet and also initial it when they see the completed assignment.

Be positive and affirming
If your goal is to help your child succeed in school and there is a lack of maturity or ability to motivate, you may need to assist. When you do, remember positive motivation is more effective than negative.
Some parents strip privileges until all the child can do is sit in a room alone every day after school. Often it is the same parents who find themselves screaming and threatening until they are hoarse. Usually the results are frustrated parents and a frustrated, still struggling child.
On the other hand, there are parents who use positive reinforcement. For example, if your child follows through with homework for the entire week, give a reward. The results from this tactic are far more successful than the screaming approach.

Be sensitive
When you realise your child is trying hard and still accomplishing little, be sensitive to his or her needs. Small acts of kindness will remove the anxiety associated with multiple assignments.

Be consistent
When you stop checking homework, signing the homework sheet, and encouraging your child, the whole system may break down in a matter of days. Parental consistency is a major element to your child’s consistency.

“It came to pass”
When discouragement overtakes you try to remember this stage will not last forever. Homework isn’t just preparation for tomorrow’s lessons. It’s the establishment of patterns of responsibility that can last a lifetime.
Maturity, good study habits, or graduation eventually take over and your child will assume responsibility for self.
Because we are “uniquely and wonderfully made,” God has created each of our children with a different timetable for maturity. Trust Him.

Home Life Magazine

HOW TO BECOME YOUR CHILD’S ALLY

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