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Teaching My Own Child Shouldn’t Be This Hard


What to do when you find yourself in serious schoolwork battles with your child.

If you find yourself in full-on schoolwork battles with your child most days, you are not alone! It’s no big surprise that after a long day of school, most kids would rather be outside playing with their friends, playing video games or riding their bikes than doing their schoolwork.

As parents, we want our child to do well, and we know how important doing schoolwork is. Schoolwork is one of our child’s responsibilities, and we get anxious when our kids aren’t doing what they are supposed to be doing. For many parents, trying to help their child complete schoolwork becomes a major power struggle. Nagging, lecturing, and yelling when our kids don’t follow through on their schoolwork responsibilities triggers feelings of anger, guilt and frustration.

Here are six things you can do as a parent:

  1. Understand that you are not responsible for the choices your child makes. Doing a good job as a parent means that you have done all that you can do as a responsible person. Once you really get this, you won’t be so anxious about your child’s behavior, actions, and decisions.
  2. You cannot force your child to care, nor can you force a child to change. Instead, do your best to influence them. Our kids each have their own free will, so trying to force your child to change will eventually turn into a power struggle. Think to inspire, not control.
  3. Structure your child’s environment properly to encourage studying. For example, set a fixed amount of time for your child to work quietly on schoolwork every day. Be available to enforce that time, and ensure there are little or few distractions, and no electronics.
  4. Be there for your child. If your child is particularly defiant or doesn’t seem to care about consequences, it is your job as a parent to work even harder to develop a positive relationship. No matter how difficult it is, do your best to avoid power struggles.
  5. Stick to this simple message: “your job is to take care of your schoolwork responsibilities; once you’ve done that each day, you are welcome to do what you would like.”
  6. Take some of the emotion out of learning, by hiring a professional tutor to work with your child. Many children work very well with the support of a good quality tutor – often significantly better than with a parent. Through the help of tutoring, children can enjoy the process of learning!

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Cheryl Vrkljan, OCT, M.Sc.
Cheryl Vrkljan, OCT, M.Sc.http://beyondtheclassroom.ca/
Cheryl, certified teacher in Ontario since 1999, and has several years of experience teaching a variety of ages and subjects within the elementary school system. During her years of teaching, she also worked with local school boards to develop curriculum content related to several content areas in the elementary system. Over the past few years, she has enjoyed a very interesting and satisfying career in the field of mental health and addictions, with a focus on children’s mental health. Currently, as the owner of Beyond the Classroom Milton, she is thrilled to be able to offer children and families unique and customized in-home tutoring opportunities. Cheryl Vrkljan M.Sc., OCT Owner Beyond the Classroom Milton (Serving Milton, Georgetown and Carlisle) www.beyondtheclassroom.ca 905-630-5312

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