Helping Your Child With Their Homework Might Do More Harm

Do you help your children with their homework?

Well today I’ll surprise you by sharing with you that Researchers from the University of Eastern Finland found out that not all types of homework assistance lead to equally positive outcomes.

Wait what? Are they saying that a parent that helps their child with homework might unknowingly produce a negative outcome? But how?

Well, as research goes, there are two types of homework assistance provided by parents. One is whereby parents offer more opportunities for the child to do more autonomous work and the other is where parents provided assistance by concretely helping the child.

It turns out that the group of parents that offer opportunities for autonomous work make children who are more persistent. In large because parents also send out a message that they believe in the child’s skills and abilities. This in turn makes the child believe in him or herself and their skill and capability.

Similarly, concrete homework assistance, especially if not requested by the child, may send out a message that the parent doesn’t believe in the child’s ability to do his or her homework. The child lacks self belief and becomes less persistent overtime, in turn needing more and more help from parents.

So it is important for us parents to take the child’s needs into consideration when offering homework assistance. Concrete help is not something that should be made automatically available in every situation – only when needed.

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/05/180508102151.htm

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Responsible Parenting: Create Memories, Not Expectations

“The paradox is that more than anything in our lives we want our children to be happy. We fear judgement, we fear disappointment, we fear failure so much that we have become constantly worried and stressed as parents…”

“Without noticing, we transfer all these expectations that we have on our children.”

“It takes guts to be acceptive of who your child is, to be at peace, to let go.” 

This article is going to revolve around the TEDx Talk by Austeja Landsbergiene, and the words above are spoken during her talk. She spoke to my heart. She woke me up. Most importantly, she opened my eyes to see what I should stop doing to avoid being the parent I do not wish to be.

Sometimes we think we know what we want for our children, but it’s very difficult to know for sure how we are supposed to parent in order to give our children what they need.

It’s a complex question that all of us parents are still learning every day to find the perfect answer to, which I believe is impossible by the way. There is no perfect way to parent your children. But there’s a way that will ensure we raise secure and happy children.

As parents, we do many things because we are concerned and conscious of what others will think of us. But we have to ask ourselves the following questions:

“What kind of memories do I want to create for my child, at home, in school and everywhere?

Is our parenting founded on kindness and generosity?

Is our parenting founded on criticism and hostility?

What is our habit of mind?

What are we looking for?

Are we looking at the things that we can appreciate? Or are we looking for mistakes?”

When we tell our children to stay home and study hard instead of allowing them to go watch their favourite basketball match, whose expectations are we trying to meet? It is our expectation that our children do well in their studies, but it is the kids’ expectation to watch that basketball match.

Austeja Landsbergiene suggests that we parent out of kindness. And everything will follow suit.

Kindness makes our children feel loved.

My First Favourite Video of 2018 – MUST WATCH!!!

I’ve been a parent for almost 8 years and I still dare not say I know what I’m doing. Coz the truth is I don’t! Parenting is a constant trial and error process until they leave home! God knows, we will still trial and error with our grandkids…

We parent different ways, but it’s becoming more and more common that we’re setting our kids up for tough competition in the “real world”. Most parents want their children to have the best opportunities presented to them, be selected by top universities and land a good-paying job. The problem is that it’s every parent’s dream, which in turn, makes the competition even tougher. Everyone is grooming their kids, I should too! That’s the mentality in the developed world these days. And who is taking the brunt of all this? You got that right. The kids. Our kids.

I came across this video last night and I immediately thought of you guys! I know you are always on your toes, wanting to do your best for your child. Julie Lythcott-Haims, an academic and author of How to Raise an Adult just rocked my world last night. I kept asking myself why I hadn’t seen this video sooner! Why hasn’t this talk received millions of views? She definitely deserves to be heard! So here I am, sharing my first best 15 minutes of 2018 with you. I hope you liked the video as much as I did.

So what were my favourite parts?

We expect our kids to perform at a level of perfection we were never asked to perform at ourselves.

This, up there, I can’t agree more. Spot on!

And in the check-listed childhood, we say we just want them to be happy,but when they come home from school,what we ask about all too often first is their homework and their grades.And they see in our faces that our approval, that our love,that their very worth,comes from A’s.

And she ended her talk with a powerful bang.

 But I’ve come to realize, after working with thousands of other people’s kids — and raising two kids of my own, my kids aren’t bonsai trees. They’re wildflowers of an unknown genus and species — and it’s my job to provide a nourishing environment, to strengthen them through chores and to love them so they can love others and receive love and the college, the major, the career, that’s up to them. My job is not to make them become what I would have them become, but to support them in becoming their glorious selves.

Parents, I can’t tell you how much I love this lady’s talk. It is such a good reminder for me as I raise my own 3 boys that they need other things in their lives such as love, play and responsibilities and not only academic results.

What was your favourite part of this talk? Share in the comment section and let’s talk!

Today I’ve Had Enough

Do you know what the challenge of writing a family blog is? It’s that you have to constantly come up with solutions for fellow mamas and offer tips and life hacks and stuff even while your own family is going through a rough patch. There. I’ve said it. 

Today was a bad day for me guys. I don’t pretend to have a perfect life. Blogging is something I enjoy doing not because I am a know-it-all but blogging is a way for me to connect with other parents, a way for me to deal with my loneliness as a stay-at-home mum. I offer what I can, but I never pretend to have my sh*t together all the time. 

So if you are having your worst day of the week today, you’re not alone. 

If your child adamantly refuses to get out of the house when you needed to, know that today my child was like that too. 

If you lost your cool after trying so hard to be calm, know that I just started yelling at one of my kids just now. 

If you’re running behind your to-do list, know that my list never gets cleared. 

If you feel like you’ve had enough of everything, I feel the same way today. 

If your head is so tight you feel like you need some fresh air, know that my head was just about to explode as well. 

That’s why I’m here writing this post. I needed somewhere to vent. But I also needed someone to know that she’s not the only one that had a bad day today. 

I want her to know that everything will start again tomorrow, for the better.

I want her to know that the kids will forgive her.

I want her to know that nobody expects her to be a mama angel all the time, nobody. So don’t go beating herself up. 

I want her to know that parenting was not meant to be anger-free or tears-free. It’s just part of the process that has been going on for thousands of years. 

I want her to know that it’s ok to regret the life choices that she’s made, whether it’s to stay at home or to go to work. Because in the end nobody can have it all. I’m sure she chose what was best at the time. 

I want her to know that family is family and that kids will one day grow up and understand everything, just not today. 

So here I am, trying to get myself together to be the mum that I am, again, and forever more. 

You can too. 

Do Each of Your Children Feel Important?

The hubbub of work and school sometimes leave little space for us to give attention to our children individually. Nonetheless, In our family we have figured out 3 effective habits to let each child know that they are special, because they are.

1. Acknowledge their contributions or bigger achievements. Make a point of speaking about the things that you like about each of your children. You can do this as you go about your daily life or you can try what our family has been doing:

Every Sunday night we have a mini family bedtime routine whereby we come together and everyone starts sharing

– “I love it when [so and so] ….. [does something]” or

– “I like [so and so] because ……. “ or

– “[so and so] makes me happy when [he/she]…

We did not only restrict the sentences to our children but each family member gets to tell at least one thing they like about all the other members in the family.

A lot of times we hear happy giggles during this session, sometimes silly sentences come out. Even then, laughing together promotes bonding, just make sure there is no teasing involved because that would have defeated the purpose of making someone feel loved and special.

2. We have monthly dates with our boys on specific dates. They know exactly which day is their date night with either one of the parents. This is how it goes:

– the day of their birthday will be their monthly date for their date. For example if your child was born on 5th of June, we would make his date with a parent on every 5th of the month. They LOVE looking forward to their special date on the calendar as they know exactly when it is. It’s already fixed for the whole year!

– we alternate the parents that go out on these dates. For example January is mummy’s turn to date 3 boys on their own individual days. Then February is daddy’s turn, and back to mummy in March and so on. This way each child gets an undivided attention for some period of time every month and each parent gets to give their time to one child fully in that period of time.

For the child it’s like being an only child once a month. Isn’t that nice? 🙂

– to make the date even better? Let them choose what they want to do on their date day (within reason). You’re guaranteed a happy child for those few hours 🙂

3. Allow for open communication. In our family, we try very hard to let the kids be heard. Sometimes it’s easier said than done. Sometimes we just want to tell them what needs to be done and how they should behave and we forget that they have their own reasons or logic to do certain things.

Listening on the part of adults make children feel that they are loved and that they matter.

To sum up, each child will feel important if parents can

– acknowledge their contribution
– give them undivided attention consistently
– listen.

If you have not been doing the above, here is a challenge for you to take for the next one week.

  1. When my child has done something right, I’m going to praise his/her effort by saying ______________ .
  2. I’m going to decide on the frequency and duration I want to give each child my fullest attention. The frequency is __________ , for a duration of _____________. I’m going to start on _________________ (date)
  3. After my child expresses himself in words, I will make an effort to rephrase what he/she had just said so they know I was listening.

Let me know how it goes in the comments!