Tuesday, April 8, 2014
There has been a flurry of focus on the overwhelming nature of work/life balance. E.g., Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time; I Refuse to Be Busy. The second shift of housework, the reification of an organic Betty Crocker, and male norms of ideal workers all combine to stress and fundamentally impair a happy and mindful life. Something's got to give. Opt-out? Out source ? Or maybe we can just ease up on the uber-parenting.
So suggests this article in the Atlantic Don't Help Your Kids with Their Homework. Some key take-aways of "essentially useless parenting interventions" based on the sociological research:
- Helping kids with homework. Especially from middle school on, it can actually hurt them
- Meeting with teachers and principals
- Observing a kid’s class
- Volunteering at schools
- Bake sales
- Helping a teenager choose high-school courses
- Disciplinary measures such as punishing kids for getting bad grades or instituting strict rules about when and how homework gets done.
The things that do seem to matter?
- Reading to your child when they are young
- Talking to your teen about college options
- Getting your child placed with a good teacher
- Surrounding kids with colleged-educated adults with interesting careers
- Encouraging kids to ask critical questions and advocate for themselves