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Is it necessary for my child to do all his schoolwork on his own? I sit on the couch with my 10-year-old son and help him with the introduction to his assignments. For example, with his math lessons, I go through the lesson with him (takes us five minutes), and then I’m off and he continues totally on his own. We do basically the same thing for all of his subjects. Today, I told him that at some time he must begin to do his own “intro” work. Just after I mentioned it to him — he didn’t say anything — big teardrops fell one by one on his papers. How does one do the weaning? Sonja

Your child apparently likes having you help him begin. Let him know you love doing the introductory work with him, and continue doing it. He does not want to be left totally on his own, and these minutes of introductory work may be providing a measure of accountability which he feels he needs. Don’t “baby” him, but don’t abandon him either. Tell him that it is to his best interests to learn to do his own introductory work. Help him through the transition. Soon this will all change, and he won’t need your help — indeed, he may even resent it if you tried. By the time he’s twelve or thirteen, he probably won’t need you any more. I would give my right arm to have my boys want me to sit next to them for my help. Enjoy it while you can.

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