Getting your kids back into school after a few weeks of holiday beach trips, sleepovers and movie marathons can be a little bit of a struggle. But this week, it’s time to get back into the swing of things, which means back to the daily grind of lunch boxes and that old chestnut, homework.


It’s only natural, as a parent, to want to help your kids as much as you can. However, is it possible to help your children with their school and homework too much? And how detrimental can this be to their education? Recent studies carried out by QUT say yes – and very.


QUT Clinical Psychologist Dr Judith Locke says 866 parents from three different Brisbane-based Catholic/independent schools were questioned as part of the study. Results showed that those who frequently endorse helicopter parenting take a lot of the responsibility for their children’s homework and also expect teachers to do the same.


“The irony is a helicopter-parenting style, with the goal of fostering academic achievement, could be undermining the development of the independent and resilient performance in their child,” Judith says.


Now, I’m going to be loud and proud about the fact that I insist on checking over my kids’ homework to ensure it’s in A1 condition before being submitted each Friday. It might be the trained journalist in me, or the working magazine editor, or maybe even just the uber-engaged parent, but if there are obvious spelling and grammar mistakes in it, I’ll let the kids know – and we will fix them up before they hand their homework books in. Does stepping in and offering a bit of a helping hand make me a helicopter parent? Or do I need to step back and allow our kids to take full responsibility for their work?


“Parental involvement in a child’s school experience is considered an important factor in their academic success and homework is a key aspect of that. However, it seems some parents may take the notion too far and continue to assist children at an age where the child should be taking most of the responsibility for their academic work, such as the senior school years,” Judith says.


“Parental help can be constructive by showing interest and coaching them to complete their work, but unconstructive assistance includes telling a child the right answer or taking over from them when they are completing school tasks.”


To read Judith’s paper titled “Overparenting and homework: The student’s task, but everyone’s responsibility” see the Journal of Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools at this link // www.eprints.qut.edu.au


Belinda Glindemann

Belinda Glindemann  

Belinda knew she was destined for a career in communications and publishing from the age of 11 when her Year 6 teacher introduced her to poster projects and glitter pens. She completed her journalism cadetship in the Whitsundays and went on to hold various newspaper and magazine editor roles across Brisbane in a media career spanning more than a decade. When Belinda's not writing for haven, she runs her own PR agency, kid-wrangles two young daughters and drinks way too much sweet tea.