Homework without Tears

I used to think I was the anomaly, that some how my 9 year old was the only kid who cried over having to do homework.  I used to think that I was doing something wrong, that I was somehow creating more stress for him or putting too much pressure on him.  That all changed when I was reading the latest “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” to my daughter the other night and saw a blurb about how Gregory’s mom had a reward chart on the wall that was entitled “Homework without Tears”. What’s this? I’M NOT ALONE!!!!


Okay, albeit I have something in common with a nutty mom from a children’s book, but I’m actually okay with that.  It still means that somewhere along the way, the writer of that book was either the kid or the parent in a similar situation.  I can’t tell you how reassuring it was.

Anytime there is a struggle with our kids, we wonder if it is something we’re doing wrong.  I think that’s why we commiserate with other parents about our difficulties.  We want to vent, sure, but we also want to hear, “Me too!”  We want to know we’re not the only one, and maybe, just maybe, someone will have some advice to help us.  That’s a big reason why Alyssa and I share our stories.  We’re all going thru the same things.  Some of us have more challenging things or unique things that come up, but for the most part, our struggles are universal.

So crying over homework has likely been going on for centuries, or at least since homework was invented.  I have to tell you , though, in my 14 years of parenting, I have yet to come up with the best way to prevent the crying, other than allowing my kids to do their homework how, when, where and if they like.  This is possibly one of the issues that I struggle with the most.  You want them to do good work in a timely fashion, but sometimes they just don’t want to do it.  You want them to write complete sentences, but some days they won’t listen.  The best way for my kids to get their homework done quickly and with no tears is for them to do it with someone else.  But doesn’t that defeat the purpose of me being their mom?  Shouldn’t I be the one who has the MOST success with them, not the least?  UGH!  It’s so frustrating.

Yesterday, we had one of those typical episodes that resulted in my son crumpling up his homework.  Eventually he smoothed out his paper and got the work done.  I think he took pride in his final product, much more so than if I had not encouraged (that’s nice way to say “pushed”) him to try again.  But it does have me wondering which is better…homework without tears or teaching my son to try harder.  The battle goes on…



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