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to have backed myself into a corner over DS's homework.

(29 Posts)
fruitstick Sun 20-Jan-13 13:59:46

What do I do?

Started DS's homework at 11:20. He's more than capable. Involved 5 sentences on Titanic.

He has done one sentence. I told him we could go sledging when it finished.

We are still sitting at the table.

He has thrown pencils, screwed up papers, thrown his book on the floor, sat under the table. He's scribbled in a reference book.

I've told him he's going to finish.

I have remained calm. Aaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhh

hmmconfusedhmmconfusedconfusedhmmconfusedhmmconfused

Allice Sun 20-Jan-13 14:04:41

I feel your pain, had a similar 2 hours this morning over volcano research with my daughter (she's 8), I didn't stay calm at all.

I have 2 things that occasionally work, firstly if I say something obviously completely wrong she's such a smart arse that she can't help but correct me and will write it down to make me feel even smaller

And telling her I'll write to her teacher and say she wouldn't do it, this normally brings on a tantrum but will eventually spur her on.

Good luck!

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 20-Jan-13 14:04:42

I think you're going to have to take the long view here and wait him out, I'm afraid - otherwise every homework he'll think if he messes about enough you'll give up.

Do you need to be sitting there with him?

How old is he? I don't agree with homework for small children, but I think now you've started you've got to finish!

ThreeBeeOneGee Sun 20-Jan-13 14:06:10

Oh dear, you have my sympathy. I have been there.

You can create the time and space for a child to do homework, but you can't actually force them to do it.

I think I would tell him to stop and write a note to the teacher explaining that he wasn't prepared to do any more.

It's his problem, not yours.

I wouldn't be falling over myself to take him sledging though.

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 20-Jan-13 14:06:43

As Allice said - I've been about to "write a note in the planner to Mrs H telling her that Son did not want to do homework".

This usually has the desired effect.

I sometimes get tears, too. I am a teacher - I am about a million times more patient with other children than I am with my own!

Chottie Sun 20-Jan-13 14:08:40

Draw 5 little marks on the bit of paper to represent the 5 sentences. Cross one off and tell him there are only 4 more to do.

Get him to think of a word to do with the Titanic and then write 1 sentence with the word in. Cross off another little mark, tell him he is nearly halfway there. Tell him he is doing a good job and you can't wait to go out in the snow too. Repeat and tell him he is over half way.

You can do it smile

fruitstick Sun 20-Jan-13 14:08:58

I don't agree with homework either.

But he is more than capable. He's just being difficult.

He's nearly 7.

I have resorted to filming him on my phone to show his headmaster grin

noblegiraffe Sun 20-Jan-13 14:09:01

Can you set a timer for half an hour and say if it's not done properly by the time the timer goes off then no sledging. Then another ten minutes and you'll write a note to the teacher? Then it's over and done with either way and you can get on with the rest of your day.

mrsjay Sun 20-Jan-13 14:10:25

I have had to do a miss jay did not want to do her homework letter once when dd1 was 7 or 8 and she didnt do it again teacher was not pleased, I would give up but no sledging today ,

dikkertjedap Sun 20-Jan-13 14:10:59

You won't be surprised to hear that we have this sometimes in class as well. I always insist on them completing the task, if they want to take the whole day so be it. The problem if you are not consistent is that you loose all credibility.

If I were you I would go and do your own things and leave him sitting at the kitchen table/living room table (so you can keep an eye on him) until he has completed it to your satisfaction. If it means that there is no time left for sledging then hopefully he has learnt an important lesson. (By the look of it, there may be quite a few more sledging days ...)

Don't let it ruin your day, he is trying to explore boundaries.

Midlifecrisisarefun Sun 20-Jan-13 14:13:15

Had this with DC when they were young. I gave a time limit, if it was not done within that time I would tell the teacher it was a refusal to do it and whatever treat at the end ie sledging,would not happen. No argument, no further discussion.

fruitstick Sun 20-Jan-13 14:15:31

His teacher has brought up this as an issue with him in class which is why I'm keen to crack it.

shinyrobot Sun 20-Jan-13 14:19:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

soulresolution Sun 20-Jan-13 14:19:44

Actually I would get out while you can otherwise you could be in all day which would be a sad waste of a Sunday and the rare snow. If he's already been there over 2 hours you both need a break and he's clearly capable of being very stubborn. What if you don't get out at all and he still hasn't done it?

As long as it's on the strict understanding he finishes it when he gets back within say 1 hour max. I found it worked quite well with ds in old days (also amazingly stubborn!) - it's not being weak, it shows them they can negotiate.

fruitstick Sun 20-Jan-13 14:25:18

He's nearly finished.

I have managed to become quite good natured about it and are having a laugh about what facts he will choose.

I am very proud of both of us grin

YorkshireDeb Sun 20-Jan-13 14:35:45

Well done! I'm glad you're nearly there & are able to keep good humoured about it. X

fruitstick Sun 20-Jan-13 14:38:14

It's done!

3 hours! I have never known him stick at anything for that long wink

I'm exhausted.

The actual writing took about 10 minutes!

EndoplasmicReticulum Sun 20-Jan-13 16:05:29

Well done Fruitstick! Now, the theory is, he'll remember that you won't give in no matter how awkward he is next time, and might as well get on and do it. Although I have a stubborn one too, and he doesn't seem to learn from these experiences! Mine kept 48 people waiting on a coach on the way back from swimming last week, they were all ready and he was still in his trunks.

SquinkiesRule Sun 20-Jan-13 17:32:52

Can you set a timer for half an hour and say if it's not done properly by the time the timer goes off then no sledging. Then another ten minutes and you'll write a note to the teacher? Then it's over and done with either way and you can get on with the rest of your day.

This is what I would do (and have done) I did it for Dd when she would sit for over an hour at the table to eat, but would refuse to leave and wanted the food.

SquinkiesRule Sun 20-Jan-13 17:33:31

Well done fruitstick what a palava.

fruitstick Sun 20-Jan-13 18:15:06

Well, we went out in the garden and cathartically pelted each other with snowballs, then went sledging - but didn't manage long before it got dark.

I ummed and ahhed about going but in the end felt that I didn't want it to turn into a power struggle, punishment thing.

He sat there for three hours, only really wasted his own time. Homework still got done, world still turned, no one noticed - that kind of thing.

Fingers crossed for next week!

dikkertjedap Tue 22-Jan-13 09:41:22

Don't necessarily expect it to be much easier next week. It may be a few weeks/months before the penny really drops ....

A lot of it is about exploring boundaries, finding out who calls the shots. From his perspective he has nothing to lose .... It is unlikely he realizes that if he fritters the time away, it will get dark and there will be less time to play.

I would not use the timer method. It rewards doing a job quickly rather than doing it well - I don't think that you want to give him that message.

Depending on whether you have time, it may be an idea to do the homework on Friday, so it doesn't overshadow the weekend.

valiumredhead Tue 22-Jan-13 09:49:39

I tell ds he has half an hour to do it or we are putting it away and I won't allow him to do it even if he wants to. Then I write in the homework diary 'Ds has spent half an hour on this and is unable to complete it - perhaps he could do it during break?'

grin

fruitstick Tue 22-Jan-13 10:42:54

Oh it's difficult.

Definitely battle of wills with him.

At school, his teacher is worried that he is working below his capabilities because he dawdles and he is being kept in at break to finish his work (sometimes 5, sometimes 10 minutes).

I thought I'd be consistent and take that approach at home but don't want to completely ruin him - or make him think school is hideous.

The main thing is I want him to do the job well, and be enthusiastic.

I realise I'm going completely the wrong way about it hmm

I had a word with his headmaster this morning, who he really likes. He is going to have a word.

I thought maybe this week I'd get him to do some homework which doesn't involve writing at all. I'm sure there's a design a poster one or something.

It's difficult this parenting business!

dikkertjedap Tue 22-Jan-13 22:33:20

Would he respond to a reward chart?

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