In this 9th edition of Homework Problems & Solutions, we take a look at the student who has the Helpless Syndrome.
The helpless syndrome is characterized by a child who places little faith in her own abilities. She exhibits a lack of confidence and frequently asks her parents for assistance.
While a child should feel free to ask parents when a difficulty with homework is encountered, there is a point at which the requests for help are too frequent and unnecessary.
You can begin to remedy this behaviour by setting an amount of time – say 10-15 minutes – and tell the child that they have to do all the work they can by themselves in that time. If they encounter difficulties they are to move onto the next question and wait for you to come and see what they have accomplished.
Once you have the child working in small blocks of time on their own, slowly increase the amount of time, but now let them come to you after the block of time is over if they have questions or need help.
You will still need to set a reasonable time for them to work independently and attempt the assignment before asking questions.
You are there to support them – not do it for them.
Remember, you still have to check the quality, quantity and neatness of the work. Do not accept work that is lacking in any of these three areas.
If your child comes to you with a question that you know they could answer themselves, do not chastise them – instead ask questions that will help them to come up with the answer, then say, “See how you solved this question? Next time try to use this way to find the answer yourself.”
The solutions offered above are simple to initiate – the real difficulty is maintaining the routine, being consistent and retaining your patience and sense of humor. In this way, Homework Problems can become a thing of the past.
We welcome your feedback and comments.