The Mom Conflict

It’s that time again. Summer is winding down. Families are cramming vacations into the last few weeks before school starts (and when I say school, what I really mean is school + sports + band + clubs + all the other activities that bring out the crock pot for the next nine months)!

It’s the time when school supplies start to make their way onto store endcaps and kids try to steer their parents’ gaze in the opposite direction, hoping they won’t notice.  Most of us in Michigan feel we don’t get enough summer, so when there are three whole precious weeks left, we try to look the other way. Trust me, kids, we parents aren’t ready for school yet, either!

BUT READY OR NOT…school’s going to start. And with it comes homework, and that’s where the mom conflict comes in.

Now when I say “mom conflict”, I don’t mean it’s mom’s problem or that parents are doing something wrong. I mean there is often a wall that goes up between mom and kids when the topic of homework comes up, which then translates to the problem of frustration around homework time. This relational tension can cause problems that look like learning issues but may just be a natural part of our teenager’s experience of growing up and striving for independence. Especially with boys.

Right around high school, moms and kiddos begin to clash when trying to do schoolwork together, and in the end it can look like blank, tear-soaked papers and, eventually, lower grades.   

If your kids are in a traditional school, you can encourage them to ask a teacher for help. Most teachers long for a student who needs help to ask for it. If you homeschool, look for co-ops or tutors. This will not only reinforce your teaching when it comes from another, like-minded person, but it will give your students the opportunity to prove to themselves that they can learn from someone other than mom. If issues are still present, then seek help or testing so your kiddo can be set up on the best path forward.

Tip of the Day

You’ve heard the saying, “If you love someone, you have to let them go.” It’s OK to let go of a little bit of the responsibility—and sometimes, the reward—that comes from being your kids’ teacher/helper. Allow other trusted adults into your schooling to reinforce what you’ve taught your kids and to give them the opportunity to spread their wings.

Dig Deeper

Contemplate what the problems really are: Are you just butting heads with your teen, or could there be an underlying learning struggle that needs to be addressed? For further help, head over to my homepage or email me at

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