One of the best bits of advice I ever received as a Mom was that kids do well with a schedule. Boundaries lead to freedom – they really do. If your children know the ground rules they can be free to get creative and grow within those safeguards.
So, in our house, we have a ground rule when it comes to homework. We get home from school, have a snack, and then tackle the homework. That way, they don’t have it hanging over their heads for the rest of the night.
But, homework had grown into a source of major headaches in our world. They ranged from pretending not to know what to do, to flat out trying to get out of doing it at all.
On my end, the challenge came from being tired. And, I was ready to help the kids get this part of their day behind them, for them as well as for me. Maybe even more so for me.
The result? Frustration, anger, impatience, even tears. And, I’m just talking about me.
Seriously, we would lose our cools and reach a boiling point that did not show any of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). I dare say our fruit basket was full of rotting apples. All of the joy, patience, peace, kindness was gone. What made me even more upset was that I had allowed it to happen. I let the devil get into the details and turn homework time into a time of turmoil.
So what changed? I am glad you asked! I had been trying to figure out what I could do the make this time go more smoothly. I would try to have the table ready and talk myself into the right mind-set before they got off the bus. Or, I would try to find ways to make the homework more fun. Maybe I could set a timer to help encourage them to stay focused on the task.
By the way, before you start jotting those down to try on your own I have to tell you… those are not the things that worked. I wasn’t going to change anything. I needed some serious help.
This week, when we were having a particularly hard time with homework I finally gave up the pride and called out to God for help. I asked Him to put this time in perspective. My child, who was struggling with the frustration over the same homework assignment that comes on the same day every week, came to me crawled on my lap and we prayed.
I called on Jesus to bless us with His abilities to finish the homework, to help us lose our frustration, and to regain our focus. The prayer ended with me sending my child back to the task of finishing the homework. But, then I went back to praying. I asked for forgiveness of the stubbornness that led to a butting of heads between me and my child. Ephesians 6:4 says it so well, “Fathers (Mothers), do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”
A few minutes later, the homework was done. The frustration was gone. And, I enjoyed one of the most amazing moments of love with my child! We just held each other in the best hug ever.
I hope you don’t face the frustrations over homework or any other aspect of raising your child. But, since the devil knows motherhood is fertile ground for his attacks, it is almost a guarantee that these times will come your way. I pray that you will give up the notion that you have to deal with the minutia of motherhood on your own. Even if it’s trying to teach your child to tie his shoe, ask God to be in that moment and every moment with you. It is a guaranteed way to skip the Headaches and go straight to the “Hallelujahs!” of being a mom!
So, how have you “skipped the headaches” of homework struggles with your kiddos? Comment below and share your story!