Monday, April 27, 2015

on children and homework

You know those moments when you have a realization, a brilliant moment of clarity, and then immediately afterward you have an additional realization of "and boy, it shouldn't have taken me so long to figure that out"?

And then you feel sheepish for being thick-headed and not realizing it before, but still grateful anyway, because at least now you get it?

Okay, this is one of those.

So, here's my brilliant (and slow-in-coming) realization:

My job at homework time is to help my children get their homework done.

Obvious, yeah? True. But here's where I went wrong before: I used to think: My job is to make sure my children's homework is done. And when I thought that, I got frustrated so very, very quickly.

Because if my job were to make sure my children's homework is done, you know what would be the fastest way to accomplish that?

Yep! To do it myself.

The thing is "children's homework" is an item on my to-do list, and so my instinct towards it is the same as my instinct towards all the other items on my to-do list: work hard and get it done.  Cross that sucker off!

But that's not how this one gets done. Because my children haven't been doing math for thirty years. They haven't been writing for thirty years. They haven't been reading for thirty years. Their homework isn't easy for them.

My job here is not to do the work. My job is to help the kids.

Obvious? Yes. World of difference? Oh, yes.

Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell


Erica Jarrett said...

I totally appreciate this point. I'm such a check the box off kind of person. I can totally see myself getting into the habit of just wanting to get it done. My kiddo is little still but this is great perspective.

Jessica Snell said...

I'm glad someone can relate. :) And thank you so much for the kind words!