I think it starts when kids are young. There must be some trickery involved, telling ourselves that we are actually modeling, demonstrating how to get homework done, but not actually doing the homework. There must be some degree of denial happening wherein we believe this is actually good for our child. Or is there some fear under this ‘helping’? Otherwise, why would a loving, caring parent steal from their child like that? You know, taking away precious opportunities to learn and grow and mature.
It may not look like it but it is the very same thing as being too afraid to let our children try out for the choir, school play, sports team, or talent show. These are the parent’s fear, not the child’s. In fact, if we listen carefully to kids they show us that they are marvelously fearless. They have not been through the trials of life yet and so still have the joy of possibility in their spirits.
When my kids tell me they want to do something outrageous I say, yeah, show me how. Show me how to have a free heart that can see the possibilities in life and show me how to be free of the chains that hold me back. Show me how to live. As soon as we decide our kids should not do something, all because it might (fill in the blank with your personal fear), we have just passed on the limitations we ourselves live by. Isn’t it a great thought that our children can be bigger than us and better than us and ultimately pave the way for us to be free of our inhibitions?
If you know you are too involved in your child’s homework, literally doing it, you would be smart to hire someone else, like a tutor, to take your role. Someone who can keep the student’s actual best interests in mind. Maybe that way you can still feel in control but not sabotage your child’s education. And if you find yourself discouraging your children from trying for their dreams because of your fears, think again about the power of your role as parent and whether you like the idea of controlling everything they do.
Being brave and taking risks isn’t for everyone.