Do Kid's Homework?
Q: My son is 9 and was recently diagnosed with ADD. We are learning what this is and how to handle it. He always comes home and wants me to do his homework for him since he has a hard time completing projects. I admit, I have done a few of them at the eleventh hour when something is due and he still hasn't finished it. My fear is that he will fall so behind in his school work and be held back from the rest of the class, which I think will be devastating to him. My desire to protect him is getting in the way of him learning from real life experiences, but I just don't want to see him fail. How do I help him without doing the project? Is it healthy to let him fail as a consequence? -Kelly, 43
Dr. Anna: It is so hard to see your child struggling. You're on the right track here—if you protect him from the consequences of failing, are you really helping him learn in the long run? No. Does that mean you should just step aside and let him fail? No. There is a middle ground here. Point out to your son what is happening. Have him (with your help) come up with a plan to get his homework done. Teach him the process of problem solving when he's having difficulties. Nine year olds are going to need a lot of coaching and reminders—be willing to provide that for him but don't do his work for him.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.