Afternoons are homework time again. Listening to the woes of my friends with older kids reaffirms my own resolve not to take personal responsibility for my children’s school work. I know that I don’t want to battle with my kids over doing their homework. Or worse yet, do their homework for them. (Seriously, this happens—and I get how it could. As my nine-year-old says, “Those people end up dumb. And their parents don’t even care.” Oh, the irony!) I want to be there to work through the gnashing of teeth but distracted enough to not engage with their work myself.
My painted deer antler and felt wreath obsessions (now in my etsy store: modcheek), among other projects, have allowed me the perfect distraction. I can hear the loud sighs and complaints, and pleas to “come help!” I offer words of encouragement while continuing with my own “work” nearby. My physical proximity to the girls is comforting, especially for the older one. Soon enough, I hear pencil scratching on paper, otherwise silence.
This new “distracted engagement” technique also enables me to maintain serenity and calm (sometimes) when things start to go south (which happens often). I can pretend to empathize. Plus, I am also getting something done, if only prepping for dinner, instead of sitting there, bored and impatient, adding to the stress of an already tense situation.
I sound full of hope and optimism, don’t I? Not to worry, I will dissolve into angry mom in another month or two. It’s only October, after all.
Fellow parents, please share how you handle homework time!