If you have difficulties working with your child…

Experience has already shown you that parenting isn’t easy. Whenever you make a change in the way you relate to your child, you can expect problems to surface at some point along the way. Deciding to help with homework will change the way you relate to your child. He may resist your help at first – or accept it initially and resist it later. You best-laid plans may found on the realities of temper tantrums and power struggles.

What can you do if you have difficulties working with your child? First, try not to assume that any an all homework related problems are the fault of your child, the teacher, or the school. A surprising number may trace back to your own experiences and behaviors. There’s nothing ususual about this; even parents aren’t perfect! The point is, these problems can be solved. All it takes is willingness on your part to examine your expectations and behaviors and modify those that aren’t working.

Remind yourself of these simple yet essential truths: You are an adult; your child is still a child. You have years of experience to draw on; your child is relatively new to the world. You are capable of problem solving, analyzing, and reasoning; your child may not have developed these skills yet. Also, your child is counting on you to be older and wiser, to set rules and boundaries, and to offer guidance when and where it’s needed. Often the more a child rebels and resists, the more that child is crying out for parents to take charge. When you say, “You will do your homework, and that’s final.” you’re not being mean or unfair – you’re being a parent! And the more firm and consistent you are, the easier it will become and the more responsive your child will be.

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