As your tween morphs into adolescence, your role in the school work he or she brings home may become murkier. Your teen may not need (or want) your help as often as he did before, and if he does come to you for help, you might feel a bit out of your depth from time to time (or all of the time). This doesn’t mean you no longer have a role in your child’s homework, however. Here’s how you can continue to help:
The facilitator: One of your jobs is making sure your teen can do homework and study. Help by ensuring that she has a quiet place free of distractions in which to work out problems, write, research and study. Who can study with the television blaring and the little brother yelling about video games? Ensure that the lighting is good and the seating is comfortable. Of course, some kids do find it easier to work on homework and study with background noise, so do let your teen adjust the homework environment to suit her.
The Cheerleader: Algebra and physics can get a person down sometimes. As a parent, your job is to help bolster your teen’s spirits. Just when he feels that he can’t do another quadratic equation, you’ll be there to urge him on, telling him you know he can make it. When your teen gets down on himself and doesn’t feel good enough, smart enough, creative enough, or fast enough, your job is to cheer him on with all the enthusiasm you can muster.
The Helper: Keeping assignments and test dates organized can be hard work, and teens often benefit from a helping hand when it comes to keeping everything in order, scheduling, and making sure assignments get turned in on time. Help out by offering suggestions for staying on top of things and providing a calendar/and or daily planner.
The Sounding Board: From time to time, your teen will need you to listen. Allow him to bounce ideas off you, and be there when he needs you to listen to the speech he’s preparing or read his research paper. When he asks for an objective opinion, give it.
The Enforcer: This is the part that most parents dread, but your teen will appreciate you for it when she’s older (and has that dream job or business). It’s your job to lay down the law that homework and studying come first. And if the grades start to slip, it’s your job to tighten the reins.
What other roles do you play when helping your teen with homework and studying? Share with us!