Thursday, May 28, 2009

Homework is an old ball and chain

In England, as in the rest of the world, parents fight with their children about homework. The children don't want to do it, but the parents insist that future freedom is at stake. (Since chronic failure is no way to go through life, son.)
However, an English inventor decided the best way to emphasize the loss of future freedom was to take away existing freedom until the homework is done. British slacking children now can suffer being literally attached to a 21 pound ball until either their homework is done or 4 hours have elapsed. The heavy ball makes normal procrastination tasks like walking to the refrigerator and getting a snack, or walking to the phone to call your friends, much much more difficult.
This idea is not new, by any means. I've heard of American parents who tie their homework-refusing offspring to a chair as a way of insisting on homework time. And the ball at least has a time limit and safety key.
Also, the ball is apparently a joke invention. A chindogu, essentially. The tying to a chair, that was serious. Yikes.


Stephanie J. B. said...

Ugh... won't some of those parents realize that bullying kids to do their homework will have worse consequences than them refusing to do their homework? That's what I believe, anyway.

themadengineer said...

The kind of parent who'd do that believes that:
1. Discipline is the most important thing in life.
2. When someone of authority orders you to do something, you have an obligation to do it
3. That children are fundamentally lazy.
4. The teacher is someone of authority whose orders must be obeyed.
5. Punishment is the best solution to bad behavior.

These five beliefs combine into "Do anything to assure that your child does the required homework." Sometimes this makes the child hate school, but this kind of parent doesn't really care about that, which is too bad.

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