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Don’t buy a ticket to the Homework Dog and Pony Show

How often did Dr. Leman help his kids with their homework? How often did Dr. Leman ask his kids if they finished their homework? His answers make sense, but do they really work? Find out in this episode. Dr. Kevin Leman never asked if his kids finished their homework. He keeps the tennis ball of life on their side of the court. So, they learn to be responsible for their own work.


1. It is their life and it is their homework, not yours.

Let the teacher be the authority to get the work done. Your children will learn that they will be responsible for their work by others than mom and dad. When the report card comes home, Dr. Leman recommends saying to your kids, “I have a hard time understanding why, they send me YOUR report card. This is your report card. How do you feel about this report card?”

I’ll never know if my kids are doing good or bad in school, if I don’t ask.

Your kids want you to be engaged in their life. They will volunteer information about their school work. Your job is to show interest in their work. If they volunteer information, be positive and keep it their homework. Feel free to call the teacher and ask how you can help support the teacher to insure his school work gets done.

What do I do if their grades are poor?

The next time, they want to do or go somewhere, say, “Nope, we need to have this conversation about your grades. Within 4 years, a person will look at your grades from High School and will make inferences about you from those grades. If those grades are poor, they won’t want to accept you into college or a job. Are you happy with those grades? What do we need to do to get them up?”

2. School first, play second.

Set the school first culture early. Get your child their own special spot to study. Set it up with their favorite pencil, good lighting and their touch. Set a specific time that homework starts, like 4 pm. This gives your kids the routine that I have my place, my stuff and a set time that school work gets done. Give your kid some time to play or decompress when the first get home from school, then encourage them to go to their spot and do their school work. Early on and later, put up their “work” on the frig. Show off their homework.

3. Don’t load the wagon so full.

Make sure your child has enough time for the important things of life as well as the extra activities. Does your child have time to simply enjoy life? Does your child have time for his friends to come over? Does your child have enough time to get his school work done? Be pro-active in evaluating what does on the family wagon, so you kid’s can do the important things.

Parenting Tip/ Pocket Answer

It is their life and it is their homework, not yours


The next session is on Ask Dr. Leman. If you have a question or thought regarding this topic, please leave us a voicemail for the next session. It must be under 30 seconds for the podcast. We reserve the right to use your question on the podcast. (This is NOT a private voicemail for personal counseling.)

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If you have an idea for a podcast or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me. If you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks. Podcast by: Dr. Kevin Leman with Doug & Andrea Terpening Blog: Doug Terpening