Should Parents Help Children with Their Homework?

February 13, 2020
Homework can be a headache for both children and parents. Many times we end up doing it for them out of fear that they'll do badly at school. To help children do their homework, we need some persuasive strategies.

These days, it’s more and more common for parents to help children with their homework. However, the way they do it will influence the child’s perception of schoolwork, either positively or negatively.

Should we help children with their homework?

Helping children with their homework correctly is a matter of great importance for parents. There are positive ways to help them meet their school commitments. It all comes down to using appropriate techniques and teaching them effective study habits.

The goal in all of this is to help them learn to be responsible and discover their intellectual abilities. Under no circumstances should you do their homework for them, as this would be detrimental to their academic development and self-esteem.

Most common mistakes made by parents who help children with their homework

One of the worst methods is to sit the child down right away, without any prior planning suited to their needs. If you lose control of the situation, it’s then easy to start verbally abusing them with phrases like, “Why aren’t you getting this?” or “Aren’t you finished yet?” That’s the worst thing you can do to a child.

If you want to help kids do their homework, there are things you should avoid:

  • Doing homework in the kitchen, while eating, or in front of the TV
  • Doing the homework in poorly lit or hot environments, and late at night
  • Criticizing the homework assigned by the teacher
  • Scolding and pressuring the child because they don’t do it your way
  • Talking down to the child
  • Not communicating with the child’s teachers
Should Parents Help Children with Their Homework?

Why is my child having problems doing their homework?

Doing homework is a conflict in many homes, to the point where helping children with their homework can become a really unpleasant task. To avoid problems, use these guidelines to determine what’s wrong:

  • A lack of motivation: your child doesn’t understand the assignments, and they’re forgetful or distracted
  • Bad study habits, or an unsuitable study area
  • Tiredness because they have lots of extracurricular activities
  • Unhealthy eating and sleeping habits
  • Little subject knowledge and poor reading comprehension
  • Visual, language, or learning problems, such as dyslexia or others
  • Family problems that distract them and take away their peace of mind
  • Bullying at school
  • Nearing puberty and the discomfort and problems this can bring

6 ways to help children with their homework

If your child isn’t doing well at school, then you should take on the role of coach, not athlete. Your child should understand that schoolwork is their responsibility and that they should be doing it with only limited help.

Here are some guidelines to help your child with their homework:

Teach them discipline

Help your child make a commitment to schoolwork. They should understand that this is an exercise in learning which will help them take on other responsibilities in the future.

Give your child confidence

The time you have to help your child with their homework should be a calm and relaxed time. Set aside a quiet area, with no pressure or distractions. Also, if your child has questions, don’t tell them off. Instead, encourage them to find out the answers with their teacher the following day.

Share quality time

When helping them with their homework, focus on their needs and give them real attention. Long study sessions aren’t required; it all depends on your child’s age and personality. A maximum of one hour of homework may be enough.

Interact with their teachers

It’s very beneficial to have regular contact with your child’s teachers. The teacher can give you effective guidelines as to how to help with homework. Remember that parents and teachers are a team in academic education.

Should Parents Help Children with Their Homework?

Respect the child’s pace

To help children do their homework, their extracurricular activities shouldn’t wear your child out. For example, spending all week in dance classes, sports, music, painting etc., isn’t good. They also need time to play with friends and to rest.

Reward their effort

This is something positive that can motivate them to keep going when doing their homework. Buy them something they like, let them watch their favorite show, or let them play with their friends.

Helping children with their homework should be something that you carry out with love. Put yourself in their shoes in order to make the educational experience an enjoyable one and not a battle that you risk losing.

  • Bush, L. (2002). Cómo ayudar a su hijo a su hijo durante la edad preescolar. Education, 1–62.
  • Pérez., A. H. L. M. C. S. (2015). Tareas Escolares. Realidad, Posibilidades, Retos. CIMIE15.