Saturday, May 18, 2013

Children's Mental Health

There's a news item going around about the increase in child mental health problems. Here's one reference to this article in a Miami newspaper. The buzz is that we are not treating the increase in children's mental health problems. I'm a true believer that homework is a source of these problems and that homework reform is a non-costly method to treat children. Here's the response I left to the article:

This article mentions that problems of mental health affect children in their education among other things. We overlook the fact that our educational policies are, to a great extent, causing mental health problems. Our teachers are trained to teach, but they receive virtually no training in the theory, research and practice of homework. Yet, homework demands keep increasing with disastrous results. Homework undermines parental authority, increases stress in the family, and exacerbates the difficulties children who have trouble with handwriting, reading and auditory processing have. These relatively minor learning problems some children have are non-problematic in the class, since the school day is bound by the clock. They have huge implications for the child at home, as the demands expand and consume the time the child has at home. Place true time boundaries on homework. Give parents full and final authority on matters in the home. Let the home refuel the child for the next day just as it refuels adults for their next day at work. You'll see a significant reduction in children's mental health problems without investing additional resources for mental health treatment.

For more information on Dr. Goldberg's model, read other postings on this blog, visit his website, The Homework Trap, or read his book, The Homework Trap: How to Save the Sanity of Parents, Students and Teachers. 


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