How to Know if You are Too Hands-on in Your Child's Education

4 min to read
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As a parent, it’s hard to watch your child struggle. It can be tempting to jump in and help at the first sign of a challenge, but doing so could end up being less of a help to your learner than you hoped.

As a Learning Coach, you should be involved in your child’s education to support learning. But how do you know if you’re too hands-on when it comes to your student’s education?  

How do Parents Influence Their Child’s Behavior?

Hands-on parenting means being involved in your child’s development. While it’s important to be engaged, being too hands on can be harmful. How much you allow your child to struggle directly impacts their problem-solving abilities down the line.

When it comes to parental influence on child development, if you never allow your child to work through challenges independently, they won’t learn critical problem-solving techniques or build the self-confidence to approach new situations.

When does Helping Become Harmful to Education?

Virtual learning is set up to foster independence in learners. As your child reaches middle school and beyond, too much support could actually make it harder for them to handle tasks on their own in the future. Your learner needs reasonable space to problem-solve on their own in order to build resilience and frustration tolerance. So when should you be involved in your child’s education?

The key difference between helping and harming your learner is that your aim should be to empower them to solve problems independently rather than solving problems for your child.

Not Helping: Micromanaging Your Child’s Schedule

Instead of telling your learner exactly what they should do every minute of the day, work together to develop a daily schedule they can follow independently, including establishing when your learner may want to complete each subject, have mealtimes, and take breaks.

It may help to write out their schedule and post it somewhere they can easily reference. If your child comes to you and asks what they should be doing, encourage them to check their routine instead of just telling them what to do.

Helping: Encouraging Independent Problem Solving

It’s okay (it’s actually good) for your child to struggle a bit. Children need to work on their frustration tolerance to excel at problem-solving as an adult.

If you know your child can figure something out on their own, don’t give them the answer right away. Instead, help them think through the problem and consider potential solutions. For younger learners, you may provide more guidance on which direction to take, while older students may benefit from more of a hands-off approach.

Not Helping: Playing the Middleman Between Your Learner and their Teacher

There will be times when your child needs help from their teacher. Instead of having that conversation for them, empower them to talk to their teacher themself. For younger students, you may still want to be engaged in the conversation to ensure they get what they need.

You can help your child by letting them know it’s okay to ask their teacher for help, then supporting them in reaching out. You might encourage your child to practice what they’re going to say ahead of time, so they feel prepared.

Helping: Communicating the Value of Learning

One of the best ways parents can actively help their children is by emphasizing the value of education. Demonstrating enthusiasm for learning and excitement around your child’s interests is an effective way to support their education. 

However, establishing the value of learning does not mean putting excessive pressure on your child to succeed. Instead, you should discuss the value of school openly and often. When your child shows interest in something, be supportive by asking questions and encouraging them to explore further.  

As a Learning Coach, you can play a significant role in your child’s academic success. When you choose to provide support versus allow your child to independently problem solve will impact how they approach future challenges well into adulthood. Get more tips for success as a Learning Coach in our Resource Hub.

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