My child won’t do his homework — now what? The simple response is: “So what?”

I’m not sure about you, but the last time I needed precalculus in my life was never. The last time I needed to remember those physicals lessons was, again, never. The last time I needed to remember every single line from Hamlet was…

You get the picture.

One of the few skills I use I learned in grade school, was writing — which you know by now, I had poor teachers or didn’t pay attention.

In grade school, I learned how to follow directions. I learned how to cheat on tests. (I’m extremely competitive and would look at someone’s answer for a question I didn’t know.) I learned how doing every assignment almost always led to an A.

Thank god I have been able to unlearn these vital things over the course of my life.

Getting kicked out of college is arguably the best thing that ever happened to me. It forced me to learn what the real world is like.

Why do you feel the need to protect your child when they are in grade school from the consequences of the real world? What happens when you don’t do your work at your job? Does mom or dad yell at you to do your work? Boss yell? Maybe get fired?

 

This is the reality. And schools aren’t empowering the youth to be prepared for that reality.

 

I recently had a chat with a wonderful young lady who is a freshman at one of the top drama universities in the country. She told me the story of how her mom letting her fail science junior year was one of the best learning experiences she ever had.

Yes — it affected her GPA and acceptance into a few universities, but it taught her how we must always live with our choices.

She also shared with us how her mom would make her book her own dentist and doctors appointments. She shared how this taught her about the real world. It gave her the grit and self-reliance to know just how independent she was.

Now, her fellow classmates are trying to learn how to do the laundry for the first time while she rarely has to call her mother for any advice.

Take a moment and think how your child is going to be on that first day of college. Will they be okay without you to rescue them from the real world?

You love your child — we get it. But is this love handicapping their growth?

I left home for the first time at 17 and failed. I left home for the second time at 18 and failed. I left home for the third time at 22 and succeeded.

I was what so many called the perfect child, but that didn’t equate to the perfect adult.

But back to that homework problem — from our experience working with young adults over the past few years, one solution is to tie the homework from today into what they want to create in the future. Make it worth their while and applicable to their everyday lives. There is no perfect solution, but you can try to see this problem from their perspective.

Most kids want to rebel against homework as they already spent eight hours learning. Remember back to when you were in their shoes.

I did my homework because it would lead to good grades and allow me to play golf all afternoon. That was my passion and I would have done almost anything to make it a reality. I rarely did homework at home, because I had created systems that would allow me to complete most of it at school.

My intention with this article is to open your mind to a new possibility. The way you have been approaching the problem hasn’t been working — so maybe it’s time to change course.

 By Gordie Bufton