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Epi #26: How to End the Struggle Over Homework

cyclebreakers epi26 gentle parenting marcela collier parenting-with-understanding podcast rachael rogers shownotes spotlight Sep 20, 2022
HIC Parenting Education
Epi #26: How to End the Struggle Over Homework

How to End the Struggle Over Homework

Welcome back, Cycle Breakers! Today’s episode continues with our back-to-school theme. This time, we’re talking about that dirty word…homework! Whether you got tense from flashbacks of your time as a student, or from daily battles with your kids to make sure it gets done, we’re sure you’ve got some opinions on it! If it was up to us, homework wouldn’t exist, but while the policy remains intact, we can find ways to make it a more bearable experience for our kids and ourselves.

Why School-Aged Kids Might Resist Going to School/Doing Homework:

We encourage you to get curious about your kids’ pushback against school or homework. Your interpretation of your child’s behaviors isn’t always their reality, or what’s really going on.

For example, in one of her masterclasses, Dr. Ann-Loiuse Lockhart mentioned a story about one of her clients with a teen daughter, who refused to turn on her camera during online school sessions. This mom and daughter went back and forth about it, until Dr. Ann-Louise’s help uncovered that the reason why she didn’t want to appear on-screen was because she was embarrassed about the big zit on her nose and didn’t want her classmates to see it and make fun of her. All along, her mom mistakenly thought it was because she was being defiant and irresponsible. 

Parents, please try to understand why your child reacts negatively towards school. They don’t want to earn low grades or fail their tests/classes. If they already are, there’s a deeper reason behind the behavior. From childhood, we’re expected to perform for — and compare ourselves to — others to prove our worth. That’s a lot of pressure, especially for a child, even if they're teens with adult-like bodies/voices. It can all begin to take a toll on their mental health and cause lots of anxiety that can be crippling them academically and socially. 

How to Help Your Child Experience Success:

Try to keep this perspective regarding how you measure your kids’ failures and successes: as Thomas Edison once said, “I have not failed 700 times; I have succeeded in proving those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.” Also, keep in mind that how ever your child performs in school isn’t a direct reflection of your parenting; there are other, outside influences involved too. If you took the time to reflect, are you operating from a mindset where you’re battling against your own expectations of your children needing to reach an arbitrary bar of perceived success so that you don’t feel as if you’re failing as a parent, or are you really working towards helping your child succeed?

Remember, get curious once you notice a pattern of declining grades/increase in negative behaviors. Then, work together with your child to develop an action-plan that will set them up for success. It’s important that the goals are realistically attainable, so smaller goals are best. Once your child experiences the thrill of these small wins, it’ll give them a boost of confidence and adrenaline to keep going. Focus on the effort and progress, however small, instead of the achievement. It’ll be a huge relief for your child and a powerful way for them to feel seen, understood, supported, and loved unconditionally.*

If you’d like more info on how to approach schoolwork, or any other topic with your tween/teen in a positive, proactive way, we invite you to join our in-house Tween/Teen Parenting Coach and Pediatric Psychologist, Dr. Ann-Louise Lockhart’s LIVE, FREE masterclass, “The Roadmap to End the Struggle Between Parents and Tweens/Teens”. It’s on Zoom THIS FRIDAY, September 23rd, 2022, at 7pm CST! She’ll share her guidance on repairing and restoring the parent/teen relationship so that struggles end and peace is restored. Click the link below to register for this informative event:


The Roadmap to End the Struggle Between Parents and Tweens/Teens


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