The 9 Emotional Stages of Helping Your Kids With Homework

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Homework: It's the dark cloud in the blue sky of back-to-school time. If you have tickets to Hamilton, homework is sitting behind a six-foot-tall woman with a perm and excellent posture. If your kid going back to school is "having excellent health," then helping them with homework is having your blood drawn. In honor of this most dreaded school year activity, we have put together a list of the eight emotional stages of helping your kids with their homework.

  • 1. Optimism

    You have a positive outlook. What a great way this is to bond with your child! Everyone will remain calm, you will explain the problem to him, he will say, "Thanks, Mom! It all makes sense now," and you will hug each other and then go to bed with smiles on your faces.

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  • 2. Hesitation

    Okay, so math doesn't look the same as it did when you were a kid. And these questions they're being asked in their English homework don't seem to be in English. But that's fine! We can figure it out together! Maybe Google can teach us both how to do it! It's fun to learn together ... stop screaming at me!

  • 3. Questioning

    Is this the right homework? Maybe their teacher accidentally gave them next week's homework? Clearly something is wrong here because there is no way this assignment is for someone your child's age. You can't even figure it out and you're a g*ddamn grownup. Maybe the book is wrong? Yes, that's it! The book is wrong. You should email the publisher and inform them of their error.

    More from CafeMom: Mom Refuses to Send Her Daughter to Nursery School With 'Fat' Teachers

  • 4. Self-Doubt

    How is it possible that someone your age can't do homework meant for a child? Is it your memory? Is this where your mind starts to go downhill? Or maybe all this time you thought you were pretty smart, but, in fact, you're not that smart at all. Even your child is surprised that you don't know how to do this. You are a disgrace.

  • 5. Anger

    You know what? F**k this. You don't get paid enough to sit here and deal with this misery. In fact, you don't get paid at all! What are you supposed to get out of this, your child's gratitude? Well, bad news, because right now your kid wants you to help him with his homework without looking at him or speaking to him. Forget it. Go have some liquor spiked with more liquor.

  • 6. Persecution

    This is a personal attack. How on earth can anyone expect a child to be able to do this homework? And why did their teacher give it to these poor children if they don't know how to do it? And why do we expect kids to know how to do algebra, anyway? How often have you needed to solve for X in the past 20 years? How about this: X = it's society's fault.

  • 7. Despair

    Homework is the club that The Man uses to beat us into submission while we're young. It is meant to break our spirits. Better to quit now. You will never figure out how to do this, which means you can't help your child, which means he will flunk out of school and live in your spare bedroom yelling for more snacks for the rest of his life!

    More from CafeMom: 15 Secrets Your Kids' Teachers Definitely Don't Want You to Know

  • 8. Abdication

    Dear Teacher, I return this homework to you uncompleted, because my child, who ran away from home a few hours ago, did not listen in class, and apparently I didn't either when I was his age. There is nothing on the entire Internet (including the dark web) that teaches us how to do the problems that you have given. I can only assume this is a failing on my part, and therefore I resign from Tuesday's assignment. I wish you Godspeed in teaching my child how to do this ... again ... while also trying to educate 24 other students. Sincerely, Parent.

  • 9. Redemption

    After all your pain and agony, your child comes home the next day and explains the homework TO YOU. On the one hand, this means your kid is now officially smarter than you. But on the other hand, it means he really is learning to function independently without you. And, if we're following the logic of x + y = z + q (or whatever the heck that was), that means you're pretty damn good at this parenting thing -- homework panic and all.

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