PARENTS

One In Six Parents Do Their Children's Homework. Why?

14/08/2014 16:57 | Updated 20 May 2015

Mother helping daughter with homework, girl looking away and sulking

Does this sound like you? Your son or daughter brings home their homework, sits at the table for a while, stares into space, then complains that it's too hard and that they can't do it. So you don your superhero outfit and swoop to the rescue – and do it for them?

Or do you do their homework for them because you get a 'buzz' if your child gets top marks – regardless of how they achieved this?

If these scenarios sounds familiar, you're not alone. For new research reveals that in one in six families, it is mothers and fathers who actually do all the homework.

In two thirds of cases, parents were willing to help out, but that in many instances they found themselves left to do the lot.

The poll, of 2,000 parents with children aged between five and 15, was conducted by the organisers of the Bett educational technology trade-show, which starts at London's Excel centre next week.

A 10th of parents who took part said it saved stress if they did the work themselves, although not all of them admitted to doing so regularly.

A quarter said they had to stop themselves from completing all the exercises.

Seventy per cent said their children were happy to let them do it.

In fact, in just over a third of cases, parents said their offspring often wandered off and left them to slog alone over their text books.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers, said: "I've helped my own children on occasion and have discovered sometimes that I don't know as much as I thought about some things.

"But there is a difference between helping and doing and it is clearly not a good idea to complete it. The question is what these parents are trying to prove. It is not a formal test, so why sacrifice their children's learning in an attempt to make their children look good?"

In fact, the study suggested this was precisely the motive for many parents to get involved.

Four in 10 claimed they got a real 'buzz' if their child got top marks on a project they had helped with, while a third said they felt there was a competition between themselves and other parents when it comes to homework.

Mr Hobby said one reason parents were taking over the nightly chore was to avoid family arguments over getting it done.

One in 20 couples admitted to arguing over their child's school work around three times a month.

Another reason for the tension could be that the parents themselves find the work too difficult to do themselves.

A quarter of parents said they considered their children's homework too hard and it made them feel paranoid about their own (lack of) intelligence!

A spokesman for the Bett trade-show said: "Most parents will get called upon to help with their children's homework at some point during their education.

"But these results show there is a fine line between helping your child understand what they are studying and completely taking over."

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