Podcast Episode 184: Three Steps to Handling Homework Woes – Part 2 of the Back-to-School Guide

Welcome! To listen to today’s episode, scroll all the way down to the bottom of this post and hit the triangular “play” button. Enjoy the show!

If you’re struggling with back-to-school time, or starting-school time – I’m creating shows this month and next to help you feel better.

Today’s is all about homework.

Over the years I’ve had parents share the most horrible stories about homework and their little kids, like the mom whose six-year-old received an afterschool detention for missing four homework assignments in a row.
That one still makes me choke a little.

Or the one about a child forced to miss recess because of a parent’s failure to log in and do the required “family homework.”

When medical ethicist Dr. Arthur Caplan comes on this show and says “recess is a right,” as he did in this episode last spring, I smile at his words.

But my blood pressure goes up.
Way up, at the thought of you and your young son or daughter coping with outrageous, damaging policies like these.

So today I’m taking everything my own training and experience tells me, and everything the wonderful teachers and doctors and folks who really understand young children (and who’ve spoken up on my show) – and I’m boiling it down into three steps to help you handle crazy homework demands.

Go to weturnedoutokay.com/184 for key links, and to read an outline of the three steps.
Also – Click here to sign up to join the Streamline Your Mornings Free 5-Day Challenge, which I’m offering again in early October!

Here they are, the 3 Steps to Handling Homework Struggles:

1) Shift your mindset.
– The problem is not with your young child; the problem is with the excessive demands of your school system on your young child.
If you’re tired of the meltdowns, and the whining, and the lack of appetite/stomachaches, and everything else that homework can bring… Know that it does not have to be this way.
That’s the first step.

2) Observe your child and share your observations.
– In her conversation on We Turned Out Okay, parenting author KJ Dell’Antonia recommends taking your observations of your child, as they freak out about homework, straight to the person who can help most: the teacher.
You may not have to even move on to step 3 if this one resolves the homework issues your child is experiencing – if you have a great relationship with your child’s teacher, and you can show her the damage done, it’s very possible that she can make changes that really help!

3) Get a group of like-minded parents together.
– Even if your child’s teacher feels moved by the video you shot of your child’s meltdown about homework, he may not be able to do much, if it’s just one kid.
But, imagine this: five parents bring in videos like this.
Or ten.
Or twenty.
And if each of you go in with the same idea, that this simply will not do, that you are respectfully declining the homework assignments because of the misery that they bring, THAT’S going to have an impact.

As their parents, it is up to us to make this better for them.
It’s always more comfortable, and more empowering, to have others on your side, whether the teacher, fellow parents, or both.

I know you can do what it takes to help your child’s struggle with homework.

Because you are a great parent.

Key Links:

Click here for Dr. Arthur Caplan’s first appearance on We Turned Out Okay, back in the spring; click here for Art’s more recent appearance about advocacy and how to advocate for your child.

Click here for my conversation with KJ Dell’Antonia, about homework and chores and so much other awesomeness.

Click here for my conversation with mom and career professional Carey Anderson, who helped her kindergartner get out of a school situation which was intolerable to him because, in his words, “I don’t have time to play.”

Click here to find out more about the Ninja Parenting Community, a place where I help parents solve their toughest challenges every day.

Click here to sign up for the upcoming Streamline Your Mornings Free 5-Day Challenge.

If you love the show, please rate and review us in Apple Podcasts… That’s how so many people find us. Click here to rate/review, and thanks so much!