I am a tutor for first year students in mathematics, and I feel pretty bad about it.
I recently changed universities. At my previous university, where I also tutored, the exercises were very demanding for the students; the problems were interesting and not easy. So I was really glad to be able to help.
Now, this is not the case anymore. Exercises consist simply of paraphrasing the definitions, and almost all the students are struggling pretty hard on these very simple exercises. Typically, they think that solving Ax = 0 when A is a 3×3 matrix is too hard. They have very little intuition about what is going on, especially in algebra. When they ask me questions, I try to answer so they see a way of thinking that can be generalized. But sometimes they just look at me as if I was an alien.
I am not here to complain, but to ask for advice. What should I do? Should I simply answer their questions as simply as possible? What I really want is to push them to work harder and become more familiar with mathematics. On the other hand, I am probably doing this already a bit and I don't want them to be disgusted by mathematics. I really don't know what to do.
Edit: Thanks everyone for your answers and your comments! This is really helpful. As asked here is some more detail: I am a tutor for students in the first year of a university in Europe. We are two tutors, staying in a classroom during 3 hours and answering every question they ask to us. I am paid by university, this is not private tutoring. They are studying mathematics, so they are not e.g. engineers. (In fact, two years ago I did teach complex and Fourier analysis to engineers in my previous university and I was surprised by the high level of the class! They were only in second year but got very hardcore stuff to do, and some of them were doing very well!) My current university does not organize one tutoring session for each class but only one "big" session where we should answer questions on all subjects: geometry, algebra and calculus.