What to do with DD8, tantruming over homework?

(19 Posts)
The2Ateam Mon 02-May-16 11:12:25

My DD8 has been trying to complete one piece of home work since 9am this morning. She is currently in her room, crying, raging, shooting and generally being horrid because she's not getting her own way. The homework is to write a formal letter, which she did in the space of 10minutes. The tantrum began when I pointed out that she should write more than one paragraph. Continued when I gave Herts dictionary and told her to find and correct her spelling mistakes. She is more than able. She putting on an Oscar winning performance while the whole family waits for her to finish so we can go out. Please help me not to completely lose my rag and how I can avoid this in the future, as it's not the first time. Thanks.

dementedpixie Mon 02-May-16 11:18:11

Is there a reason it needs to be longer? Did it specify length? I would go out and then finish it later probably when she has calmed down

The2Ateam Mon 02-May-16 11:21:28

Thanks.
The constant feedback from her teachers is that she does the very near minimum of work, and is encouraged to more. The homework pro forma is an A4 sheet, and she wrote 3 lines. I would usually go out, but we are no expecting to be back until we won't have time.

PolterGoose Mon 02-May-16 11:25:01

She's done it. Let the teacher deal with it if it's not enough etc. Just enjoy your day.

LIZS Mon 02-May-16 11:27:24

Just let her hand in what she has done. You are fuelling the tantrum by interfering , adding complications like checking spelling before she had even finished.

The2Ateam Mon 02-May-16 11:34:10

Interesting points of view. Maybe I'm too hard on her. I just don't want her to think you don't have to work hard for what you want in life. I think it's a bit of an issue I have to be honest, and projecting it!

dementedpixie Mon 02-May-16 11:36:17

Rather than give the dictionary you could have worked with her to find and correct spellings. I'm glad mine don't get weekend homework

AuldYow Mon 02-May-16 11:37:33

I've had this with my eldest always did the bare minimum. I was fed up of me constantly chivvying him so told him if he felt he'd done enough hand it in. After a nights sleep he realised it was shite not enough and re-did the whole thing.

TimeforaNNChange Mon 02-May-16 11:43:50

When it comes to homework, I've always viewed my job to support and schools job to penalise.

Not all my DDs teachers have agreed and have expected me to do more - but DD now has a very conscientious approach to her work, which I'm attributing to my approach when she was younger. wink

GlitterGlassEye Mon 02-May-16 12:00:31

I disagree with others saying just let it go. She's having a tantrum that's delaying the rest of the families plans. 8 is too old to be stamping their feet in my opinion. Plans would be cancelled until she's calmed down and did what you've asked of her.

Comiconce Mon 02-May-16 12:15:13

We had the tantrums and tears and I got pretty fed up with it. When my oldest was about 7 1/2 I gradually stepped back a bit when it came to homework and expected her to take control. This resulted in some sloppy work for a few weeks but I wrote a note to the teacher to explain what was going on. The teacher was very much in favour of promoting more independence. dd is now nearly 9 and does her homework independently to a decent standard and also works well at school (after all, no one is standing behind her at school to chivy her on).

Op, I think maybe after this episode it's time to hand over to your dd and tell her quite clearly that she has to face the consequences at school if she does less than is expected of her. Then step back.

The2Ateam Mon 02-May-16 12:31:14

So, to update... She's finished and were on our way out. Her attitude stinks, and I shall me writing her teacher a note about stepping back a bit from her home work. Although I have little faith in her teacher doing much about it! We shall see x

Ferguson Mon 02-May-16 19:53:41

CONFLICT over reading, writing or homework is not going to do anyone any good.

If you don't 'have faith in her teacher' DD probably senses that you don't (even if you don't actually say it).

Get her this book (but don't force her to read it, just let her look at it only if she wants to):

An inexpensive and easy to use book, that can encourage children with reading, spelling and writing, and really help them to understand Phonics, is reviewed in the MN Book Reviews section. Just search ‘Phonics’ and my name.

starry0ne Mon 02-May-16 20:09:02

I have a year 4 Ds..We have had times when we have locked heads... I have been very open with his teacher...When he has made a proper effort ..She has rewarded him with house points and fantastic comments...He has put more effort in through the year... If he doesn't bother I leave it to the teacher..

I also put positive comments in his homework book when required... I don't spell check his work..

I don't mark his maths but if it is a subject he isn't confident I look through in case he is getting it all wrong..

In your situation my comment may well be along the lines of do you think your teacher will be happy with that or done enough...

If he refuses I tell him don't do it but your teacher will know ( although long time since needed to say that one)

I also in the last year have broken homework down so it isn't all done on one day..

Mishaps Mon 02-May-16 20:10:26

She's 8 for God's sake! Is this piece of work so vital that it is worth disturbing family harmony over, or making her feel unaccepted? What is it that you are afraid might happen to her if she does not write a longer letter? Do you really seriously think that she is going to finish up thinking the world owes her a living just because she has done what all 8 year olds do and written a short letter?

She is stamping her feet and having a tantrum because you are being very unreasonable. Poor child! "Her attitude stinks" - I cannot believe you have written that about your own child! - you cannot mean this.

She needs a bit of love and understanding of what it is like to be 8. Butt out of her homework - leave her to do it her way if your involvement ends in arguments. How will this encourage her love of learning? It is ridiculous that 8 year olds have homework anyway. This rush to pressure children into learning early is ridiculous. She will do all this stuff again in her first couple of years at secondary school anyway, believe me. Been there - seen all that. What is the rush? It is not a race. She needs her parents to support and understand her more than she needs to be able to write a long letter.

Cut her a bit of slack and give her a break. Or better still give her a cuddle; tell her how special she is to you; or read a favourite book to her.

Better to have a child who writes a short letter than one who feels unloved and abandoned. Are you quite sure this is not about you wanting to "win"?

I guess you will reject all of this post - but can I respectfully suggest that you ask yourself if there is not a grain of good sense in what I am saying?

Smartiepants79 Mon 02-May-16 20:13:33

How specific were the expectations at the beginning? Did the sheet make it clear how much writing would be appropriate.
Maybe just a thought for next time. Make it clear what you expect to see when she brings it to you.

TeenAndTween Wed 04-May-16 14:57:18

I agree with Smartie . Make sure the teacher / you are clear up front on expectations with respect to length, spellings, neatness etc.

Maybe talk through contents before she writes.

My DD1 constantly struggled/struggles to write enough. One thing we did in primary was to get her to dictate to me, I wrote it down and then dictated back. This meant she didn't need to think and write simultaneously. When she was 15 we got a dyspraxia diagnosis which explained a lot.

Witchend Wed 04-May-16 18:20:21

Ds' attitude to homework is very much Calvin and Hobbes:

Calvin: I have to be in the right frame of mind for homework
Hobbes: Last minute panic?

Or (I think this was actually over tidying his room but it fits perfectly)
Calvin: She hates me; it'll take all morning to do this!
Hobbes: It should only take around 30 minutes
Calvin: Heck, it'll be two hours before I've even stopped grousing about it...

He's 8yo too. But actually I tend to assess the homework and tell him beforehand what I expect to see. If he thinks he's finished and I say more the world ends! And actually I have a certain sympathy with his feelings. I rarely look at the homework and think how good for him it is; I often look at it and think that it's been set entirely so they can tick a box to say they've set homework. I'd ban homework from primaries if I was minister for education.

Kariana Sat 07-May-16 19:17:50

Mishaps that seems very judgemental. The OP is not being a terrible parent because she wants her child to do some homework that the school have set and I don't think this situation is akin to making a child feel unloved and abandoned at all. The OP is trying her best to install a good work ethic in her daughter.

That said OP as a former teacher I would say please don't make too much fuss at this stage in her schooling. You are right to encourage more than three lines, otherwise you are reinforcing that half a job will do. Try setting a reasonable expectation beforehand - and please don't be too ambitious with what you think is reasonable. No more than a half page at her age or even less depending on her writing size.

Checking spelling with a dictionary by herself is unreasonable. How on earth will an 8 year old identify which words she has misspelled? Added to that at her age I wouldn't be surprised if her misconceptions about spelling rules make it impossible for her to locate some words as she could be way off the mark. I would drop this idea.

The important thing to remember is that at this age homework isn't important - set you expectations of what she does based on this (ie only asking for a very little more than her slapdash efforts). I never met a single teacher who thought primary homework was a good idea, hence her teacher probably isn't doing much about her lack of work - she knows it's ridiculous and during school time has more important things to do, such as leading activities that will actually benefit the children's learning.

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