The 5 most common mistakes parents make when it comes to homework

The 5 most common mistakes parents make when it comes to homework

Despite the circular from December 29, 1956 which prohibits homework writings at home (for primary school) more than 70% of teachers still give homework daily (and sometimes a lot).

We have to face the facts: children are overwhelmed with homework… .. and parents too !!!

It is a great source of conflicts in families and therefore the cause of a great source of stress for children and parents (stress which triggers the arrival of cortisol which, let us remember, is neurotoxic…).

This week, Cécile SIMONNOT, Montessori educator and parenting consultant, shares with you through this article the 5 most common mistakes done by parents facing homework. Not in order to make you feel guilty (because the company already takes care of it) but rather to allow you to realize that sometimes (even often) the behaviors that we “reproach” our children are just the logical consequences of our own behavior towards them.

These behaviors that come directly from the education we have received, no more and no less.

In this article you will therefore find the list of the 5 most common mistakes that parents face with homework (but there are others unfortunately) and at the end you will find a list of 6 new habits to put in place so that homework is a fulfillment for your child in the long term (and for you by the way).

Mistake # 1: Doing for them (not just for homework)

Sometimes, it happens in some families, that by wanting to get rid of homework and to save time, parents do it for their children (more or less openly).

I understand that it may make things easier in the very short term to avoid conflicts and save time on the busy schedule and yet….

It is to be avoided absolutely because it will not do anyone a service!

For homework as for the rest, when we do for the child that does not teach him to do. This only pushes the problem away. And by the way it adds work to you and will certainly annoy you …

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We want our child to become autonomous in his daily life and his homework?

So, let’s teach him to do it alone!

Because let’s keep in mind that the more parents get involved, the less the children succeed !!

children and homework

Mistake # 2: checking homework

The second, much more widespread error is that of control the work performed by the child.

This behavior, which may seem natural to us, because we have even experienced it with our parents, is nevertheless toxic.

This control sends the message to your child that you don’t trust them.

You will certainly tell me that it is nevertheless useful because often your child did not do all the homework or did not do it correctly.

Yes, and that’s precisely where it’s interesting: if you correct his mistakes at home or if you don’t allow him to explore the fact of going back to school without having done his homework he will never be able to realize what that implies as consequences.

And until he realizes it, he will not be able to change his behavior and move forward on the path ofself-discipline.

So let them make mistakes, believe them when they tell you they’re done.

But stay available and attentive if they come to ask you for help (in a more or less subtle way) …

It sometimes happens that this control is done by the parents to reassure themselves, for fear of being judged to be ” bad parents “, In this case it is important to work on yourself and find trust in us and in our educational choices so that our child does not suffer the consequences …

Mistake # 3: getting in between the child and the teacher

children and homework

We hear more and more teachers (even in kindergarten) recounting situations in which parents come to defend their child when they don’t get good enough grades, when they haven’t done their homework, or behave deviantly.

Except in special cases (because unfortunately there are people suffering even among teachers), it is important that the child learns to cope with logical consequences of his behavior or his work towards the teacher (especially for college and high school).

Because once again, as long as he has not explored the (unpleasant) sensations that this situation provides he will not be able to realize that a change is needed.

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So let’s take a blow, trust our child and make sure that his emotional reservoir is full enough so that it finds the resources to question and call on us if necessary.

On the way toself-discipline and autonomy!

Another mistake: focusing on results

children and homework

How many times have I heard these phrases:

  • “You only got 12! “
  • “How many did the top of the class get?” “
  • “If you do not have the average there will be no exit”
  • “We will play together only when you have finished your homework”

And so on…

Rest assured I heard them throughout my childhood too and if I hadn’t taken care to deconstruct this approach I would certainly have reproduced them with my own children.

If we want to allow our child to persevere, we must be vigilant to the messages (verbal and non-verbal) that we send him.

Phrases like:

  • “I noticed that you worked a lot on this lesson”
  • “We play 15 minutes together and then do your homework?” “
  • “Are you satisfied with the result you got? Did this correspond to what you expected? “
  • “I see that this math lesson is difficult for you, do you want us to look for a game to approach it differently? “

Will be much more beneficial for the brain development, for the quality of your relationship and of course to allow him to learn from mistakes.

Last mistake – Skip the break times

And finally a last point, but not the least important, is to preserve moments of physical and psychological freedom for the child.

If upon returning from school we ask him to do his homework when he has already spent 10 hours listening to his teacher, it is unlikely that he will be receptive to any learning. Conflict assured!

Let him have a little pause moment (snack, sport, nature walk, or just get bored) and fill up your emotional reservoir before doing homework the next day.

Likewise, during the week, it is important to consider whether the child has time to breathe.

I have already accompanied families whose children (primary) had to take on no less than 3 extra-curricular activities (sport, music and English lessons). I let you imagine the state of fatigue of the child (and the parents who manage the trips) to try to keep up.

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An extra-curricular activity is quite sufficient (and not even compulsory) for a primary school child (see college).

If you want to introduce him to other activities, take advantage of internships during school holidays. Learning to choose is also very important for the rest of your life.

A quality rest and a stress-free daily life are major assets in the academic success of a child, in his capacities of concentration or autonomy.

Allow the child to have moments to be bored is very beneficial for the development of his brain (and for that of adults).

This will not not compatible with weeks packed with activities.

The solution for this is to focus on the essentials, lighten the schedule and make choices.

A good indicator to know if your child is overworked or not is to take a step back on your own mental load because the two are often linked.

And now what do we do?

Now that I’ve listed what to avoid doing, that doesn’t teach you what to do, does it? (or very little).

Daring to question the way in which our parents have accompanied us pedagogically is the basis of the academic development of our children (for the most part anyway). But if you are reading this article it means that you are already on the way.

Once this work is done, we can go and set up simple and effective tools that will radically change your daily life, limit conflicts and so reduce stress level in the family.

So here is in broad outline, what we must move towards.

  1. Understand how your brain works
  2. Help him structure his work
  3. Help him get organized
  4. Support and reassure (emotionally)
  5. Help with content only occasionally
  6. Help them develop their intrinsic motivation

If you want to know more and participate in the full training “Help your child learn effectively”, contact me today by email at [email protected]

I sincerely hope that this article is useful for you and allows you to develop new habits to help your child learn effectively.

And tell me in the comments how is homework going?

I kiss you and say to you very soon here or elsewhere



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