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.