Earlier this week, a father posted a WeChat moment, “I was tutoring my son for his homework. Then, I had a heart attack. After being sent to the hospital, I was inserted with two stents.”
The WeChat moment immediately went viral. Many parents, with the same feeling, proceeded to share their own frustrating experiences of mentoring their own children.
Some of the parents complained about their kids’ tardiness and lack of self-control. When doing homework, they are either easily distracted by trivial things, or make up a lot of excuses to evade the inevitable homework (i.e. needing a drink of water or going to the toilet frequently).
Other parents told how they are frustrated by their kids’ lack of competence. After they fail again and again on the same simple problems, the parents’ patience runs out.
Many parents are blaming the teachers for turning kids’ homework into parents’ homework, since more and more homework is assigned through an APP or WeChat. To make things worse, most teachers require parents to check and sign the completed assignments.
“My son was once called out and criticized by his class teacher because I forgot to sign his homework,” complains Wu, a mother whose son is now in fifth grade. “Since then, I don’t dare sleep earlier than my son. It is often the case that I have to stay up until 11pm to sign his homework.”
Nevertheless, some point out that it is a parent’s responsibility to educate their kids. Considering the fact that teachers have to juggle pressure from school and parents’ expectation, they can do little to change the current system. If parents become angered because their kids make a few mistakes, the only explanation would be that the parents have limited capability and patience.
“Parents should learn to go easy on their kids,” says Lu Desheng, Professor from Sichuan Normal University. “After all, the priority of mentoring kids is to help them develop good habits and learn how to manage time themselves.”
These days, the Departments of Education in Jiangsu and Ningxia have issued documents to stop ‘parents’ homework’ by reducing the overall homework quantity. It still remains to be seen whether the circumstances can be improved.