This article was originally published on September 21st, 2015. It was updated and republished here on August 23rd, 2017.
Your middle schooler or high schooler tends to underperform in school — and it drives you crazy.
What’s a caring, involved parent to do? You know how high the stakes are. Is it your duty to strictly supervise and control homework so that your son or daughter gets higher grades and has a happier life ?
Dr. Charles Fay of loveandlogic.com says no.
In a newsletter article published here, Charles gives parents a far better idea. “When your children get resistant,” he says, “allow them to learn through their refusal. Refusing to do a homework assignment can serve as a more important life lesson than the content of the assignment.”
Here are three additional strategies Charles recommends:
1.The next time your child gets resistant, experiment with walking away from the table and saying:
- I love you too much to fight with you about homework.
- I’ll be happy to help when I see that you want my help.
2. Let their grades be their grades.
When their grades are poor, be sad for them. Using empathy rather than anger dramatically increases the odds that they’ll actually feel bad about getting bad grades. When this begins to happen, the consequence comes from inside the child . . . rather than us having to provide one from the outside.
In Charles’ book From Bad Grades to a Great Life he provides excellent additional strategies for helping kids develop this type of internal drive. One of them is:
3. Build them up in their strengths.
Kids who make a lot of mistakes also need to experience plenty of success. That’s why it’s so important to encourage them to spend time and energy on their strengths. Celebrating their successes cements our relationship and gives them the courage to tackle the tough stuff!
Many thanks to Charles Fay for these insights. You can find all his loveandlogic.com parenting and classroom help at www.loveandlogic.com.
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There’s no part of parenting more important than setting your kid up for successful college and career life.
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Who is Jeannie Burlowski?
Jeannie is a full-time author, academic strategist, and speaker. Her writing and speaking help parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love. Her work has been featured in publications such as The Huffington Post, USA Today, NerdWallet, and US News and World Report.