This post is part of a series of excerpts from Dr. G's new book on parenting: Get the Behavior You Want... Without Being the Parent You Hate!, which is available for pre-order now.
Someday your child is going to have a job. This may be in just a few years or it may be a decade or more in the future. Let’s imagine that, even if she doesn’t love this future job, she would like to keep it for a while.
In the competitive workplace, keeping a job isn’t easy. But it is simple. To keep your job, you have to provide a product or service for a customer. This product or service has to be what the customer wants, when the customer wants it. Some of you are trying to punch holes in my simplistic theory, right? What if my child is an Olympic athlete, a diplomat, a dancer? Think about it, though: If they are (heaven willing) earning a paycheck at any job, something must be done regularly, on time and within certain specifications.
Want the magic formula for keeping your future-adult child from getting fired? Homework!
Doing homework is your chance to make sure that your children have the skills they need to be great employees or successful entrepreneurs. In fact, it may be your only chance to help them learn the skills they will need to succeed at any job they get. Better than that, though, homework teaches how to get tasks done on time, the way the customer wants it.
What does this mean in the homework trenches? Look at the usual problems. One night, too much work? It is a great idea to help your child prioritize. The spelling test is most important because it’s a larger portion of the grade than the daily math work. Daily math work will definitely get checked, but Spanish journal might not, so your child could do two paragraphs tomorrow night.
This analogy isn’t perfect. First of all, your child can’t be fired. But there are negative consequences to not getting the work done. And there are performance reviews (tests and report cards) to give him a sense of how he’s doing. Learning from those reviews (not just suffering through them or hiding them in the bottom of a backpack) is an important skill also. School is about learning how to work.
Deborah Gilboa, MD, aka “Doctor G” is an industry leading parenting expert, Family Physician, international speaker, author, and media expert. She developed the “3 R’s of Parenting” to empower parents to raise respectful, responsible, and resilient kids.
Doctor G is a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a frequent guest expert on CBS, ABC, and WQED. She contributes to Huffington Post Parents, Your Teen magazine, Parents magazine and MSNBC.com. Recognitions include Pittsburgh Magazine’s “40 Under 40”, the Bristol Meyers Squibb Award for Clinical Excellence, and The Excellence in Teaching Award.
Beyond these honors, she’s most proud of her family. She and her husband are raising four boys who are growing into respectful, responsible and resilient young men.
For more info, go to Ask Doctor G.