I struggle to give away control. I’m not overtly bossy or controlling but I do struggle with standing by and just watching – especially when it comes to the children. As you know A has recently started baking on a regular basis and I’ve had to force myself not to interfere. I think I’ve done quite well. I still won’t let her put her little child hands near the oven but we’re making progress on that. I still have to clear up the mess quite quickly after she’s finished but please note that she has been allowed to make a mess. As I say, progress is being made.
I’m trying to approach homework in the same way. When T started senior school I wanted to support him as much as possible without actually doing the work for him. He’s produced some brilliant work and I’ve tried to encourage him to push himself and stretch for a higher goal. And he’s done really well. In year 8 I’ve taken a step back and let him get on with it on his own far more. He still asks every now and again if I can proofread an essay or run though ideas with him for a descriptive writing piece, but on the whole he’s just getting on with it.
A had some Maths homework to do this week (online) and she looked at me in abject horror when I suggested that she try and do some and give me a shout if she got really stuck. “But its MATHS!” she shouted. I stuck to my guns (while biting my lip so hard it nearly bled) and she cracked on with it (after a bit of routine sulking). She asked a couple of questions just to check that she was on the right track and then, behold!, she announced that she had completed 3 tasks and had managed to get a decent score on each of them.
It’s such a fine line between “being involved”and “taking over”. And I suppose on the other side of the equation is “not getting involved”and just “not caring”. I would like to think that my children know I want what’s best for them and that I want to help and I do care. But I’m going to try really hard to keep from interfering (unless they’re in danger of burning themselves or getting something horribly wrong).