Homework can be stressful not only for kids but for parents as well.
To start off on a positive note, parents should check in with their child after school before getting out the nightly assignments.
“Kids are tired at the end of the day, so you want to make sure your child’s basic needs are met before beginning their homework. Are they hungry, thirsty or do they simply need a brain break,” explained Emily Mudd, PhD, a child psychologist at Cleveland Clinic Children’s. “Then, determine the best time of day for your child to do their homework, and keep in mind it may be different for each of your children.”
Dr. Mudd said kids thrive when they have a set structure and routine, so it’s important to encourage them to start their homework at the same time every day.
It’s also helpful to have a dedicated space where your child can work and be productive.
Dr. Mudd said it’s best for kids to set aside cell phones and other devices when working on assignments.
Parents can use screen time as a reward after everything is completed for the night.
When it comes to intervening with your child’s homework, Dr. Mudd said parents can help with different assignments but should refrain from doing all the work.
“You really want your child to develop confidence and autonomy in being able to do their own work. Parents should wait until their child reaches out to them to say they need help with a certain problem,” Dr. Mudd said. “You want to create that relationship where your kids know you’re available during their homework time to help them when they need it.”
Although helping your kids with homework can be stressful, it’s important for parents to demonstrate positive coping skills as a model for their children.
Dr. Mudd said parents can openly express that they need to take a break when they’re overwhelmed, engage in a relaxation activity with their child and then return to the assignment.