A mum has kickstarted a debate about how much help parents should be giving children with their homework.
While many parents will likely list it as one of their biggest parenting bugbears, according to one mum some mums and dads are giving way to much help with their kids’ homework.
Mum-of-three Sarah Thompson took to Facebook to call out parents for giving too much of a helping hand to children after her four-year-old son was made to feel like his own project was “rubbish”.
In a short video clip, the 37-year-old from Donaghcloney, Co Armagh explained that her son, Noah, had been set the task of designing and building his own house.
After spending all week “gluing it together”, the mum said it “broke her heart” to see him so upset that his own project couldn’t compete with other children’s that had clearly been given a great deal of parental input.
“Last year, there were time machines there that would have given Dr Who movies a run for their money,” the reflexologist who is also mum to Megan, 15, and 10-year-old Niamh said.
“This year, my four-year-old son Noah was tasked to build a house using things he’d find around the home and he got stuck in making his own little house,” she continued.
“He spent all week perfecting his design and construction as only a four-year-old can and he was delighted with this work.
“When Noah took his house project into school, he was devastated because a number of the other kids’ projects were like something from Grand Designs.”
Sarah went on to joke that if the kids did make these houses themselves then some of them would have serious careers ahead of them as architects.
“This homework is for the children, not for the parents,” she said before going on to urge parents to let children do the homework for themselves.
“Not only for their own satisfaction, it’s a big achievement when they make something that they’re very proud of. But the other thing is so that the other kids if they did do it themselves they don’t feel so bad, that they’ve done something that is worthless,” she concluded her clip.
And her video post has clearly struck a chord with other parents as since sharing, it has been viewed more than 226,000 times and received hundreds of comments about the thorny subject.
Many parents agreed with Sarah that children should be doing their own homework.
“Well said young lady. I couldn’t agree more!!! 4 year olds should be allowed down time at home. I think these sorts of projects should be done in school with school resources and teachers help. I too am on my 3rd child in primary school and see this sort of thing all the time,” one parent wrote.
“Unfortunately this happens right through high school too. Even ALEVEL art pieces are done by father’s who are architects and the child got 100% with an A*. Her father did the whole bloody lot at home for her!!!” added another.
“Well said. Every single word. I’ve actually shamed parents for doing this,” added another parent.
Others pointed out that at least teachers would be able to tell which projects had been given too much parental input.
“Fortunately, the teachers know the children’s ability levels and know rightly if there has been an adult hand involved in homework,” one parent explained.
The subject of homework has long been a thorny issue for many parents. Earlier this year, parenting expert, Justin Coulson, wrote a blog explaining why he doesn’t believe homework is necessarily beneficial and why he won’t be letting his six daughters spend time doing it.
For those parents who haven’t banned homework, it seems that homework is having an increasing impact on family life. A recent survey by Butlins found that more than half (55%) of parents spend more than 40 hours a year trying to keep up with the latest school curriculum.
While 36% feel completely unable to assist their kids with homework leading to feelings of embarrassment and anxiety when they cannot help. Hardly surprising therefore that the subject of homework can bring about family disagreements with a separate survey revealing one in 20 couples admit to regularly arguing about homework.
From contributing too much, to not doing any at all, it appears homework has many parents divided. Maybe the solution is scrapping it altogether?
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