Most of us dreaded getting homework when we were at school.
When we become parents, however, it seems we’re only too happy to knuckle down.
Nearly two thirds of parents said they help their children with their work – with one in six admitting to regularly doing all of it, a study has found.
One in ten said their assistance prevented tantrums and a bad atmosphere in the evenings in the poll which was carried out among 2,000 parents with children aged between five and 15.
But it could have been a case of crocodile tears because 70 per cent said their children are more than happy to sit back and have their work done for them, while 38 per cent said their youngsters even wander off and leave them to puzzle over the text books.
And puzzle they do, for a quarter agreed that the work set was too hard, while two thirds admitted there had been times when they couldn’t lend a hand because it was too difficult.
Some 18 per cent fear that teachers judge them for the standard of their children’s work.
Meanwhile a competitive 42 per cent confessed it gives them a kick when their youngsters receive high marks for a project they have helped with.
The survey also found that one in 20 couples argue regularly about homework. Common disagreements were about the best way to tackle the work, which parent should help, not helping enough and interfering too much.
A spokesman for educational trade show Bett, which carried out the survey, said: ‘Most parents will get called upon to help with their children’s homework at some point during their education.
‘But these results show there is a fine line between helping your child understand their studies and completely taking over.
‘If you are letting your child sit back and relax while you do their homework, the chances of it actually sinking in are very slim.
‘It’s probably best just to be there as a sounding board if your child gets stuck on something.’
The study also found that the average couple with children in school falls out over homework three times in a typical month.
Three quarters said they still favour the subjects they were good at in school, while half said their offspring regularly get distracted by TV when they are supposed to be studying.
‘Children are bound to get distracted when doing their homework,’ added the spokesman.
‘The temptations of TV’s and game consoles are far greater than when their parents were at school.
‘But homework doesn’t have to be stressful, if both parents and students are struggling with something there are always resources to help.
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