Parenting

Get Email Updates

Parenting Guide

Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.

ASK

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

How to avoid homework hassles - Howdini

More Videos from Howdini 148 videos in this series

How to avoid homework hassles - Howdini
How to avoid homework hassles - Howdini
7 of 148 : Current video

If getting your kids to do their homework is turning your life into a nightly battleground, help is on the way. GMA parenting contributor and author Ann Pleshette Murphy has some good, practical advice to help you avoid homework hassles.

KATRINA: I’m Katrina Szish for howdini.com, joining me is Ann Pleshette Murphy, Parenting Expert and the author of The 7 Stages of Motherhood. Nice to see you, Ann.

ANN: Thanks.

KATRINA: We’re talking about how to avoid homework hassles. That’s a big one. How do you stay involved with your children and their homework without being too involved?

ANN: Well, it’s really a very fine line in my house in particular, but I would start with your child’s teacher. Early in the year, find out how much homework they’re going to have, what her expectations are, his expectations are, and make sure that your child knows that the person that he or she should talk to, first and foremost, is the teacher. That said, if you are finding that you’re constantly getting into a battle about homework, first of all understand that kids have different styles and respect your child’s style. Some kids want to sit on the floor with the music blasting.

KATRINA: That was me.

ANN: Some kids want to be – Right. Some kids, that’s my son. Some kids want to be near you; so when you’re doing the cooking for dinner, they want to be at the kitchen table. And some kids will sit at a nice, tidy, little desk with their sharpened pencils and do it there. So understand what your child’s style is. The other thing is to really make homework part of your routine. So every night, and in fact it’s best if you can pay bills or read the newspaper, turn off the television: it’s time to do homework, and I’m going to be doing my bills or I’m going to be reading the newspaper. And if they say, well I don’t have any homework to do tonight, then say, well let’s use that time to review stuff. I mean just, there’s got to be something you can do, so that it’s part of what you do every night.

KATRINA: What about class projects, school projects where you get to the classroom or you get to the science fair and you can tell that someone’s parents happened to be a designer or an architect, definitely were very involved in that particular project. Isn’t that cheating?

ANN: Well it is cheating, and the person it’s cheating is their child.

KATRINA: Mmhmm.

ANN: And, in fact, the reason it is, is because there’s a lot of research on motivation, and what we find is that there is no substitute for that feeling of, ‘I did it, I did it myself.’ And what you’ll find is, if you’re over-involved in your child’s work and they get an A, they’re going to quickly say, ‘Yeah, but you did it.’ And that’s really going to cost them in the long-term in ways, you know, just not worth it.

KATRINA: Okay. Ann Pleshette Murphy, thanks so much for your advice.

ANN: Thanks.

Howdini is life’s little instruction manual, in HD. We’re all about bringing together the top, most respected experts in their fields to help us be the best we can be at all of the little and not-so-little challenges of our complicated lives. Howdini is the place to be for the know-how you want, when you need it. Or maybe it’s the know-how you need, when you want it. Whatever. We’re here to help. So come in and look around, won’t you?

We think you’ll love finding everything you want to learn about in one convenient place, and as we grow and add more categories and more Howdinis, you’ll be doing less surfing and more learning right here. And unlike television, Howdinis aren’t limited by time—we don’t have to break for commercials, and we’re always on.

Who is Howdini?

People often ask us, is there an actual person who is Howdini? And the answer is, it’s kind of like Lassie. Just as there were many Lassies, there are many individuals who are called Howdini. In fact, each of our experts is a Howdini, and, like all those Lassies, they really know their tricks. (Although so far there is no ‘How to tell your master that Timmy is trapped in the old abandoned mine’ segment)

Our gurus are people you know and trust because you’ve been getting advice from them for years, at places like Good Morning America, The Today Show, Money, Prevention, and Food and Wine (to name just a few). Many are best-selling authors. Others, like our medical experts, are respected leaders in their fields.

Howdini History

The first Howdini was Joanna Breen, who left a comfortable career at ABC’s 20/20 to create a how to video website after one too many frustrating experiences with handymen who weren’t that handy. Joanna had traveled the world reporting with Barbara Walters and others on injustice, outrage, and tragedy, but now it was time to turn her talents to dealing with crises closer to home, like what do you do if you drop your diamond ring down the drain. Joanna is the quintessential can-do girl, so she didn’t find the prospect of launching a gigantic website the least bit daunting. (Ok, that last part isn’t entirely true.)

Joanna convinced an old ABC News buddy, Shelley Lewis, to join her. Shelley had supervised roughly 9.7 million helpful how to segments during a long career executive producing television shows like Good Morning America and CNN’s American Morning. A self-described “info-pig” who loves all kinds of information programming, she is never happier than when she’s learning an amazing new tip that she can annoy share with everyone she knows. Needless to say, Howdini was a dream gig for her. A career woman, a wife, a mother, and author of two books, Shelley considers herself equally challenged by all the facets of her life.

Joanna and Shelley were introduced to marketing executive Alison Provost by a mutual friend who knew that Alison had what they needed - entrepreneurial experience, patience, and a checkbook that still had checks in it. Joanna and Shelley could see right away that Alison should join Howdini. They figured that they would take care of the programming, and Alison would bring trustworthy sponsors to help pay the bills. It took Alison significantly longer to be convinced, maybe because she was crazy busy running a marketing firm called PowerPact, which she continues to oversee while serving as the biggest of big cheeses at Howdini. But whether it’s playing Suduko or launching a new business in a field she knows little about, Alison loves the challenge of a good puzzle, It wasn’t long before she began dropping obscure internet terms like “user-interface” and “googlebot” into casual conversation.

What’s Next for Howdini?

Our goals are modest. Complete and total domination of the internet, crushing Google, Microsoft, and any other punks who get in our way. (Hey, it’s a just a goal.) But until then, we will content ourselves making the best, most professional, most credible how to videos you can find anywhere. We want to help you solve your career issues, your parenting problems, your money troubles. We want you to be more glamorous, healthier, and less stressed out. We want you to check Howdini every day for fun, interesting, useful advice from experts you know and trust.

We want to make Howdini the community you love to be part of every day, To do that, we need to hear from you. Please share your suggestions, rate and comment on the Howdini videos, and the blog, (The Howdini blog). Tell us what you’d like us to create for you.

And then, when we’ve achieved that, it’s back to working on complete and total domination of the internet.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy