Micromanaging homework could damage child development

Parenting consultant Noushin Rahman-Blake says parents should let children learn from their own mistakes

Micromanaging homework could damage child development

US school student works through a math problem with her iPad during algebra class. Photo: Jeff Roberson / AP/Press Association Images

Parents who micromanage their children’s homework may be hurting their prospects for success in the long run according to a leading parenting consultant.

On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, parenting consultant Noushin Rahman-Blake said hovering over your kids while they work can stop them learning from their own mistakes.

She said you should never point out the mistakes your children are making – and instead simply suggest that they should double check their work and have another go.

“When you micromanage homework [...] you are not actually giving children the opportunity to learn themselves,” she said. “How to check their homework, how to work out whether they have done a good job or not - and in the longer term, those are the skills that actually we need our children to have for their futures.”

She said asking children to think for themselves can help with motivation, resilience and the ability to problem solve: “all these great skills that we as adults have.”

As director and parenting consultant at ‘Supporting Links,’ Ms Rahman-Blake runs parenting classes at a number of leading schools in Britain.

She said parents should only show children how to solve a homework problem if they then go on and complete the rest on their own.

“It isn’t about letting things go and being so laid back that we are not actually pointing out that maybe they need to check their work again,” she said. “It is how we do it."

“It is how we point out that there might be something that they need to have another look at, because actually, pointing out mistakes doesn’t help anybody.”

You can listen back to Ms Rahman-Blake’s full interview on Newstalk Breakfast here: