As a parent, it is quite natural to worry about the different aspects of your child’s life. One of these concerns lies in the academic front. Be it about how well your kids fare in examinations or how challenging they find homework, you may find yourself getting worried about it excessively. The concern increases even more when you find your kids struggling with it. So, of course, you feel tempted to step in and help them out in every possible way that you can.
But, at times, the “help” goes more than just a gentle nudge to give your kids a headstart. While all you may want to do is push them in the right direction, you sometimes find yourself finishing off their projects as they happily sleep through the night. Don’t worry, it is completely understandable. All you want to do is help your children to succeed and bring down their stress levels at the same time.
However, it is now being believed that parents should not help their kids too much! At least, that is what the recent book “The Broken Compass: Parental Involvement with Children’s Education” says. This book has been co-written by sociologists Angel L. Harris and Keith Robinson from the University of Duke and Texas respectively (1).
More About The Study
The two researchers examined 63 different aspects to measure the involvement of parents in their kids’ education. They looked at things like whether they observed classrooms, interacted with administrators or teachers, did homework together, set up rules for homework and grades, and gave their names as volunteers in schools.
The sociologists found that parental involvement generally doesn’t boost their kids’ academic achievements in any way. To the contrary, their analysis revealed that it may have a detrimental effect instead. They also ensured that their sample set was representative of parents with different educational achievements, income levels, and even race.
By demonstrating that parental involvement in their kids’ education can be counterproductive rather than helpful, the two sociologists have come up with a finding that one may have never imagined of earlier. After all, parents are expected to help their children as much as their capabilities allow them to.
So, Why Do Parents Intervene?
When your children feel too stressed about their work, their obvious reaction is to reach out to the person that they feel closest to i.e. ‘you’. They may even beg you for your help, thus, it may encourage you to look for reasons why their homework might be challenging and out of their comfort zone. Can’t underestimate the parental instincts, isn’t it?
While it may be out of their comfort zone, you need to remember that your little ones are capable of battling the challenge. After all, the teachers also don’t look for the ‘most perfect’ assignment ever. They too understand the capabilities of different children and look for the best version of their effort.
How Do You Handle The Stress That Comes With It?
Here, we bring you some tips:
- Make your kids understand that the project is meant to be challenging and it’s perfectly normal for them to be taking their own sweet time to figure it out.
- Tell them that such challenges are a crucial part of their learning.
- Motivate your little ones by letting them know how it’s more about the effort and not the outcome.
- Keep your own stress life as well as your kids’ in check.
- Reassure your kids that they are capable of doing just about anything!
It is important for you to understand that a little bit of anxiety is a byproduct of being challenged. But, try not to let this bog you and your kids down. Also, don’t worry about offering a little nudge and motivation from time to time as your children need that too. What is important is that you trust in their capabilities and all good things will follow. Good luck!
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