Let Your Kids Do Their Homework

I have a crying, quite upset and embarrassed daughter this week over a class project she turned in. She’s 7 years old, and her class project was to make a robot.

She came home excited about the project and started finding stuff to make it with. She found a paper towel tube and some foil, put it on there, and made some arms with the foil. She drew some eyes and a mouth on it with markers. She wanted feathers on her robot, so I bought her some at Michael’s and she attached them to its head.

This is the most AWESOME robot I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t move or anything, though she made a remote control for it from some construction paper and more feathers. It’s exactly what a 7-year-old should build.

She took it to school and the students have to talk about their robots in front of class. The first day’s worth of kids did their talks and basically said, “My dad did this”, “My mommy did this”, etc. And every robot looked like something Jamie would make on MythBusters. So my kid came home crying and upset.

Parents: Do not do your kid’s homework for them! This is not a freaking contest! You may feel some unnatural need to impress a bunch of elementary school kids with your skills, but get over it and let your kid do his/her own project! It’s not about a grade, as they are all going to get fine grades just for doing something. I’m yet to see a kid do anything themselves and not be proud; I have a stack of pictures on my refrigerator to prove that. You only need to do the things your kid asks you directly to help with, and they NEED to do the rest.

You do it because you can’t help yourself. Maybe it’s good bonding time or maybe you think you have to show your love with it. Frankly, I think you just do it because you’re afraid that your kid won’t “fit in”, particularly since “every other parent does the same thing”.

No, we don’t. Let your kid express herself and actually learn something in the process.


She did her little speech today at school and it went great. She was able to explain how she made it, why she put feathers on it, and every other question. None of her answers were, “My Dad did it that way.” She was all smiles when I asked her, so I think this worked out.

Written on March 18, 2016