Supporting Parents. Fostering Change.

Monthly Archives: March 2016

I cannot tell you how many families struggle, and I mean STRUGGLE with homework each and every night. For our families with kids who have special needs or learning differences, homework and studying are a cause of tremendous misery, conflict, and stress. From the moment kids wake up in the morning, they are rushed, pushed, and managed. For some kids, school is a respite, a place to see their friends and have fun. For others, going to school is like going to a full time job that you didn’t apply for and have no desire to do. Day after day, these kids get told to settle down, stop wiggling your body, pay attention to the teacher, keep quiet, be nice and behave yourself. All of these commands require enormous effort. By the time these kids get home to their families, they are just wiped out. Their brains are completely out of juice. All they want to do is just relax and recharge. All parents want is to enjoy their children, but most of them can’t. There’s the dreaded homework. It’s that time when parents have to climb into their Homework Cop mode.

Studies demonstrably support the purging of homework from the elementary school age child’s life. Even for high school students, research says to scale back. And even still, homework continues to be assigned at earlier and earlier ages in larger and larger quantities.

Imagine, if you will, that homework was abolished. Imagine being with your child without the stress of homework. What would you do with that time with your child?

Read this article for discussion on some of the studies done and the case for banning homework for elementary school students.

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Thinking about our current political quagmire through a group therapy lens. Like in any group, conflicts between members are natural and healthy. Without verbalized AND respectful conflict, things stagnate and nobody grows and changes. And, in an atmosphere of unmitigated anger, safety is lost. Opponents stop listening to each other and instead see each others’ words and behavior through a lens of stereotype and distortion. “My beliefs and actions are thoughtful and honorable while yours are crazy and evil.” The goal of a therapy group is to establish norms of mutual respect and trust. Even when group members disagree or don’t even like each other very much, they still see the group as an important place to solve problems and get needs met. Everyone in the group must be listened to and taken seriously or nobody will trust in the process. It is only AFTER people feel they are heard and understood that they may be willing to broaden their belief systems and then consider that there are multiple points of view and just as many ways to solve a problem.

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