NO! 43% of Parents Do THIS. Do You?

Who does the homework in your house? Is it the student or the parents?

If you sheepishly admit it's you, the parent, you are not alone.

Fully 43 percent of parents admitted in a national survey of 778 parents with children younger than age 18 that they do their kids' homework for them. And in the South, a whopping 87 percent do the homework, reports

And that just begs the question: WHY?

The top reason given by parents is a lack of time. In the few hours after children get home from daycare and before they go to bed, much must be accomplished, including homework, dinner and baths. Older children may also have activities, such as sports practices or music lessons. It's just easier, parents say, to do the homework themselves. Besides, the kids are exhausted, many of whom got to before-school daycare before the sun rose.

If you think you're pulling one over on the teacher, think again. Teachers can easily spot a parent's work, be it on a worksheet or a big project; although, it's tough to prove. Even if your child gets a better grade because you did the science fair project for her, what has she learned from the experience?

There is one unintended lesson you may be teaching your kids: Cheating is OK. After all, it is cheating and unethical when parents do homework the child was meant to do and pass it off as the child's work.

Besides, homework is given to help children master content learned in the classroom. If they don't do the homework themselves, they don't learn--and that is bound to be revealed when it comes time to take tests.

What can parents do to correct this situation? Change the family schedule to allow time for your children to do their own homework. They will not only learn how to write an essay, do algebra and conjugate a French verb, but also learn to take responsibility for their own work.

Do note that it is perfectly acceptable and even desired for parents to help a child who is struggling or has questions. But helping is very different than doing it.

--From the Editors at Netscape

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