Now that the new school year is well under way, parents and students are feeling the usual pressure of staying on top of school responsibilities, particularly homework.

Here in the United States, most schools have implemented the Common Core Standards, which according to most parents, teachers and students that I have heard from, feel it is placing way too much pressure on everyone involved.

Students are expected to do too much academic work with little time left for physical and leisure activity, which we all know is not only important, but crucial for the physical, mental and emotional development for children of all ages.

But what I’m hearing from parents is a sense of frustration and even helplessness. Their kids are coming home after a long day at school, only to have to sit and focus on homework for another hour or even two!

I can’t speak for everyone, but I know after a long day of work, the last thing I want to do is gear up for more work in the evening…but that is what we are expecting of our youth these days.

When speaking with parents, I’ve found that many feel and believe they have no control over this issue. In fact, they believe their children HAVE TO do as the schools say. To me, that is not freedom, that is disempowerment!

I’d like to take some time to share with you some basic tips for helping you to navigate this overwhelm that you and your kids may be feeling when it comes to school responsibilities and the struggle of homework.

Let’s look at a few things. When it comes to sitting down and doing homework, are your kids:

  • Fighting you and resisting your attempts to have them get it done
  • Crying, stressed and overwhelmed when they get home
  • Burnt out when it comes time to do more work in the late afternoon or evening
  • Being turned off when it comes to learning and school, even though you know they are natural learners
  • Bored with focusing on academics for the majority of the day
  • Acting out in school
  • Lying about the amount of homework they have to do
  • Finding it difficult to focus at the end of the day

If any of these ring true for you and your children, perhaps it’s time rethink homework.

When it comes to our kids, their negative behavior is an indication of needs not being met. As adults, parents and teachers alike, it is our responsibility to make sure the needs of every child is being met so they can learn and grow at a pace that is right for them.

Instead we force a one-size-fits-all approach to education and behavior. There is a belief that when it comes to homework, kids just need to do it.

Here are a couple questions to ask yourself:

    1. What is the end result I am hoping for my child(ren) to achieve?
      Most likely the answer is happiness, confidence, success, intelligence and well-being.
    2.  

    3. Is homework overwhelm in my children (and myself) bringing my children closer or further away from being happy, confident, successful and well-rounded?
      We all know that stress causes imbalance in the physical, mental and emotional body. So why are we insisting that our kids complete their homework at the cost of their overall well-being?

So what are your options?

    1. Remember that you always get to choose. Stand in your power of choice and remember that you have the right to say ‘this is too much for my kid’. Just because a school or teacher is requiring a certain amount of homework to be done, does not mean you and your family need to comply. Again come back to what is most important for your child and family. 
       
      You may need to consult a doctor and talk about the stress related issues that are caused by too much homework and academics. The right doctor can inform your school that your child can only perform a certain amount of after-school work. The school cannot legally penalize your child for not doing this work when it comes to his or her health.
    2.  

    3. Ban together with other parents. More than likely you are not the only family dealing with this difficulty. This is what Parent Teacher Associations are for. If a number of parents stand up and say ‘enough is enough’ the school will likely make changes. Schools need to be listening to parents and kids, not legislatures, when it comes to the educational needs of children
    4.  

    5. Connect back to your spiritual center (Source, Spirit, God, Goddess, the Universe or however you prefer to view this connection). Center yourself in order to make clear, informed choices for you and your family. Ask Spirit to guide you in making the best choices that are in the highest good for all involved. 
       
      Then meditate on the essence of what you would like to bring into your life. It may be freedom, empowerment, peace, confidence, certainty, trust or well-being. Whatever it is for you, just know as you focus on bringing more of these qualities into your life, through the Law of Attraction, the Universe supports you in experiencing more of the same and in turn, this will support your children.

If you are interested in learning more about what the research shows about homework and education, Alfie Kohn, author and speaker on human behavior, education, and parenting, has much to offer on the topic. As author of The Homework Myth and many other books on parenting and education, Alfie offers facts and tips on this website

© 2014 Julie Kleinhans, Mind Focus Generation

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

“Youth Empowerment and Education Expert Julie Kleinhans works with teens and young adults to love themselves, be successful and embrace their own uniqueness. Get her FREE Guide for Parents “5 Steps to Productive, Confident and Happy Kids” at www.MindFocusGeneration.com.”

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Back to School: 3 Tips to Reduce Stress for You and Your Kids

by Julie Kleinhans on September 3, 2014

Back to School time can be a little crazy. With supplies, books, new outfits and shifting out of the summer schedule into the school schedule, you certainly don’t need any more on your plate, in fact, what you need are ways to reduce the stress for you and your kids.

Try out these 3 Tips to Reduce Stress for You and Your Kids:

  1. Morning stretch and meditation with your kids.
     
    If your children are younger, this is a great habit to establish at a young age.
     
    If your children are older and reluctant to do this with you, encourage them to join a yoga class instead with a friend after school.
  2.  

  3. After-school chat.
     
    Talk to your kids about their day at school and do your best to not judge what they say and instead listen from a neutral, loving place. Your children will share all kinds of things when you listen with an open heart and they feel safe to be heard and understood no matter what they say.
     
    This kind of dialogue reduces stress on your kids, giving them the outlet to express the “highs” and “lows” of their day and giving them the opportunity to share things that may be bothering them, where they want your support.
     
    Talking it out is a way to explore our feelings and understand them. Give your child that opportunity to share without interrupting and you’ll find out how smart they are with problem solving (regardless of age) and you’ll be able to be there for them when they could use some true advice from someone that was a kid not too long ago, remember, that’s you!
     
    -And by the way, your children may have great advice for you with your own challenges.
  4.  

  5. Support learning not grades.
     
    School was originally designed as a place for learning. Now, the energy has shifted to grades being the objective, instead of learning the material in a holistic way.
     
    Giving more meaning to grades can cause undue stress on your child, which is counterproductive. The most important thing is that your child feels fulfilled and loved for who they are, regardless of their school performance.
     
    The Law of Sufficiency and Abundance reminds us to see ourselves and our loved ones as good enough just as they are, without needing to prove anything to earn love and approval.

Start incorporating these tips one at a time or all at once – write them on a sticky note and keep them with you.

You and your kids deserve a stress-free life, as much as you can make that possible, so that all of your can thrive and truly enjoy this life experience. After all, each of us are here to learn and grow, you are learning along with your kids, so take it easy on yourself and it will enable you to take it easier on them!

Let me know how these tips work for you – post your note on my Facebook page.

© 2014 Julie Kleinhans, Mind Focus Generation

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR NEWSLETTER OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

“Youth Empowerment and Education Expert Julie Kleinhans works with teens and young adults to love themselves, be successful and embrace their own uniqueness. Get her FREE Guide for Parents “5 Steps to Productive, Confident and Happy Kids” at www.MindFocusGeneration.com.”

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What’s so Final About Final Exams?

June 12, 2014

It’s that time of year… final exams are here! Parents, teachers and students are feeling the pressure of finishing out the school year on a good note. To make matters worse, the Common Core Standards are an additional stress in our lives. We all want our children and students to do well, but what does […]

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Supporting Young Men to Release Pain and Anger

March 17, 2014

If you tuned into the interview I had with Tori Hartman during Successful Kids Revolution, you may remember the emotional release I had in making the connection between my grandmother (my father’s mother) passing away when my mother was pregnant with me and my life’s path. It was quite a breakthrough for me. You see, […]

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The Importance of Raising Children with an Abundant Mindset

May 22, 2013

I cannot speak for everyone but I’m pretty certain that most of us were raised and educated based on a lack mindset. What is a lack mindset you ask? It is one in which we see and believe in limitation. For example, when a situation does not go as planned, do you look at all […]

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