As a mother, I think my duties include helping my boys with and looking over their homework. That’s what my parents did for me. My mom would be in charge of making sure it got done and my dad would look over it if we had some difficulty when he came home from work. My oldest is in 5th grade (soon going on to middle school) and I still believe this is just another part of my job as “mom”. Just a few days ago, I realized I need to stand back a little bit more…give him the rope and see which way he will take it, as I have heard this phrase before.
I have been a bit lenient with him as I’m sitting across from him helping my youngest while maintaining that watchful eye. I also give him reminders if a piece of homework is due in a few days so that he’ll get a head start. I am reminding him that procrastination can be a ‘you know what’! He takes my advice with some reservation until finally he realizes that what mommy says is best.
Fast forward to the day when I realized I needed stand further back. I was looking over a reading passage and told him he could have done better with details, applying new vocabulary to a sentence as well as going back to the passage to find the meat and potatoes of what he read. What happened next baffled me.
He began to mumble under his breath, “I can’t believe Mommy is making me do this!” His father was inches away and so was his uncle. They witnessed what he was saying and both explained to him that I was just “helping and teaching” him for his best. He just went on and on and didn’t want to listen to reason. I wondered, will this be what I am faced with next year? I was just trying to better assist him. Nothing more, nothing less.
At that moment, I looked over at him and said, “If you don’t want me to help you that’s fine. I will let you learn the hard way.” It took a lot for me to walk away…but I did. I think I saw the jaws on both my husband and brother-in-law drop but I had to do it. At that moment, I had to show him that if that’s what he wanted, I would give it to him and together, we will see the results. Of course, I am not looking forward to the outcome (perhaps a bad grade or two is in our future?) but maybe this will serve as a lesson that he should take advice and be more willing to listen to reason…let’s hope. Worst case scenario, he will continue to not want to complete his homework completely and to the highest quality and the cycle continues. This, of course, I would NOT allow but, honestly, I’m hopeful that this is all a phase he’s going through. In any event, what would you do if you were in my shoes? Share away please.