Help your Stepkid with Homework!
Being an active part of your stepkids life and someone they can rely on is essential to being a good stepmom. There are, of course, certain situations where boundaries are necessary and beneficial for the parent and child relationships in your blended family.
One topic that we see often is: helping your stepkid with their homework. There are a ton of questions regarding the do’s and dont’s of this situation. Let’s keep it simple: supporting your stepkid in their education is always a good idea.
Helping your stepkid with their homework truly is a no brainer if they need the help- help them. Kids might not outwardly ask for help, be intuitive. However, offering assistance when you have not been asked might be a tricky situation in your blended family. Here are some tips to make helping your stepkid with homework a painless experience!
Is this your place?
What is your relationship with your stepkid like? Would they feel uncomfortable with your assistance? This is something you need to be aware of and discuss with your partner. If your spouse is around, available, and capable of helping your stepkid with their homework then perhaps this is a situation where they might be best suited for the job.
Don’t overcomplicate it. If your stepkid might feel embarrassed or have a hard time accepting your advice, helping them with their homework is simply not your place. If this is where you find yourself, you need to strengthen your bond with your stepkid and work on developing trust before you step into assisting with homework.
Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. If you and your stepkid don't have the strongest of relationships right now, we have faith that will change with time!
You must strengthen your foundation with your stepkid so your relationship has something solid to build upon. Discuss with your partner different ways to help strengthen or progress your relationship with your stepkid so one day they will feel comfortable asking you for help.
If you acknowledged that helping your stepkid with their homework is, in fact, a responsibility of yours, then own it! The learning process is not black and white, and each person learns differently!
Be active at parent-teacher meetings, schedule one-on-ones with a teacher if you notice difficulty, and really own your role.
Troubles with schoolwork might simply be a result of the difficulty in understanding material that is new. However, the difficulty might actually be a sign of a different issue. Does your stepkid struggle with focusing? Numbers? Reading? Are they restless? Distracted? This could all be because they are being taught in a way that does not resonate with them. Work with educators to learn how best you can help your kid with their homework based on their learning style.
Hey, even ask your stepkid what they need! They are the experts of their own mind. Figure out with them what they aren't understanding so you can work on a custom solution just for them.
Teamwork is key!
If helping your stepkid with their homework is an appropriate role for you, you’ve taken it on wholeheartedly and are working with their learning style and with their teachers to help them best succeed, then it is time to add teamwork to make this dream work!
Blended familial relationships can be tough, but if you want to help this child succeed with their education all the adults need to work as a team. Figure out who helps your stepkid the most, communicate and find out what difficulties the child is having and what progress they have made!
It doesn’t make sense to have multiple people working towards one common goal if they don’t communicate. Find a method that works best for you. You can create a homework folder that goes from house to house with a note that describes your stepkid’s most recent homework challenges and successes. Create a goal checklist so you can all keep track of milestones and progress together. Communicate in person if possible, and check in with your stepkid- how do they feel and what do they need more of?
Helping stepkid’s with their homework should be all about the kid! Be sure to identify your place in their education journey, own your role and do your best with the responsibilities you are given, and work as a team to ensure your stepkid is on the path to success!
XO, Social Stepmom