Lately, I’ve felt like a ‘bad dad’.
I have been busy with a lot of stuff (at work and home) and I’ve not been engaged with my kids (especially my youngest son) as much as in the past. Not good. No good excuse either. I’ve simply allowed other things to get in the way of proper parenting. And I feel bad about that.
It used to be that I would sit with my youngest son while he did his homework each night. Now, that doesn’t happen so much. Part of the reason is that he is in sixth grade and he needs to be able to work through his assignments on his own. But…I think I’ve pulled back too much. I should be checking his work. Or at least in the same room while he’s doing the work so I can keep tabs on him and/or to answer questions he may have.
The Slippery Slope
There are SO many distractions in our high-tech, digital world these days. It’s hard for an eleven year old to sit still. Especially after he’s been confined to a school classroom for several hours. On the other hand, he has to get the work done. He’s a “A” student but has not performed at that level recently. His last report card was an indication that things were slipping. This has to be corrected. Quickly.
Times are Changing
I have to become much more engaged and in tune with what is going on with my kids. My oldest son is almost on auto-pilot when it comes to homework and school-related projects. He’s sixteen. And I’m glad that he has the discipline to get things done. Now it’s time to get Matt (my eleven year old) to begin down the same path.
Matt will be in middle school next year and there will be drastic changes. He will have several teachers, one for each subject. He will be part of a much larger student population than his current elementary school. And…the demographics of the student population will change too. In a big way.
Puberty is beginning to set in too. This brings along with it a whole set of issues all on its own!
A New Plan
Here’s the new plan: I will sit down with Matt each evening. We will go over all his homework assignments and work through them to complettion.
I will go through his (messy) backpack and help him get organized. The junk will come out and the good stuff will be put in fresh folders so the kid knows where his stuff is. His backpack has become full of all kinds of stuff. It’s time to clean things up.
As I work with Matt in the coming weeks, I will be setting the tone for middle school and explain to him the major changes that are coming up. I’m sure I’ll get some kickback, but that’s expected. I will persevere.
And so will he.
Question: Do you have homework issues with your kids? Any tips you’d like to share?