Getting Your Kids to Crack the Books

Homework advice for parents

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TUESDAY, June 1, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- If your child is doing poorly in school, you might be tempted to take a more hard-driving approach to their homework.

That could be a mistake.

Two University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studies suggest children do better on their homework and improve their grades when parents take it easy.

Parents who intervene in homework by issuing commands, rushing their children, or actually doing school assignments for their children can cause children to become disengaged and do even more poorly at school over time.

"When mothers respond to their children in a manner that supports autonomy, children doing poorly actually experience increases in their performance during their interactions with their mothers and the next day," researcher Eva Pomerantz, a professor of psychology, said in a prepared statement.

"Perhaps most importantly their school grades improve over time," Pomerantz said.

The findings appear in the May/June issue of Child Development.

More information

The Nemours Foundation offers some advice on how to deal with homework.

SOURCE: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, news release, May 2004

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