"My child just doesn't want to do school work with me!"

If I had a penny........ Seriously, this is mentioned in most (if not all) the enquiries I get for MagiKats. So, if you think it makes you abnormal, think again! If you'd like my personal insight into it, read on. When I was a child, I was always frustrated by the adults around me who seemed to have forgotten what it was like to be a kid, so I have tried hard to remember all those feelings as I've got older. One advantage of adult-hood, however, is the ability to take apart and understand my motivations when I was young.

To understand where I'm coming from, you need to understand that my mum was a teacher for decades. She is an excellent educator, has a very effective approach with children and understands young minds. You need also to know that, whilst not the best behaved teenager, I was quite well controlled!

Due to some 'distractions' in Year 11 I found myself facing failing my maths GCSE (well, not entirely, but badly enough to be embarrassed with my private school/well-to-do school mates). So my mum, a seasoned teacher, stepped in and dragged me kicking and screaming through two weeks of intensive revision. Almost literally dragged; literally kicking and screaming!

I am ashamed to say I was highly unpleasant to her: I slammed doors, threw teenage temper tantrums, I even recall throwing my pencil case at her!


Why does a child kick back against their parent teaching them and helping with school work?

Why did I?

Although my mum would never, ever have made me feel bad or pressured about my work, I didn't want to fail in front of her. I felt so desperate that I didn't know the work but didn't want her to be disappointed in me (which she never would have been), so I tried my hardest to avoid it and push her away. It really wasn't personal and nothing to do with my mum; if anything it's testament to her that I held her opinion so highly.

So, if your children don't want you to teach them or kick back when you try to help with homework, please don't take it personally! There is nothing you can do but keep patient and calm, or look for outside support.

By Emma Lomas

Principal of MagiKats in Guildford, Mytchett and Cobham