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...to scream and yell at my kids for not doing any work during half-term

(30 Posts)
WotchOotErAPolis Sun 02-Nov-14 13:20:38

i have just lost it with my DS11 as he now says he won't do his last piece of homework today [due in tomorrow].

i have spent years and years on this particular issue as I have 3 DSs, none of whom has ever seen the point of homework and will only do it lazily, reluctantly and often not at all.

DS15 says he has studied this week but when challenged, can't produce any evidence at all as he says he's been reading his text books and doing work online. i can't just go in and check his compute history as he's out today and has switched off his PC, which is password-protected [by him, as despite my ancient IT degree, I can't read his mind].

Should I just give up and leave them to it, knowing that they might get worse grades than they should / detentions / etc? I can't get them to figure out that if they did a little work most days, did their homework the day it is set, produced some notes that I can actually see to prove that they've done something, life would be so much easier.

I have tried withdrawing privileges but they don't get pocket money anyway; cancelling music lessons would just hurt their teacher [who is a good friend and very short of money, so I'm reluctant to use him as a pawn]; they don't socialise much [another story] so banning them from seeing friends makes no difference; we don't take them out for cinema / trips / meals much as they don't seem to appreciate it when we do.

Is this a case of "just let them stew in their own mess"? I feel it's just giving up on my job as their Mum? Or am I being over-sensitive? Help!

PenelopeGarciasCrazyHair Sun 02-Nov-14 13:34:57

Sounds like withholding the wifi password could be a good incentive? (Apart from the homework that needs to be done online!)

Personally, I leave my DCs to do their homework with no prompting from me. Luckily they are all pretty self-motivated and their schools deal with it in an age appropriate way.

Dd who is 8 has to stay in and work at break time if she hasn't done hers, so she tries to remember it and if not she will bear the consequences. Ds2 is 10 and is often seen doing his after breakfast on the morning it's due in. Again, if he doesn't hand it in, he will have to make up the work in his free time at school. Despite their lacklustre efforts, they are both doing excellently at school, working above the required level.

Ds1 at secondary will lose merits and get more serious consequences if he doesn't hand in homework. I've never found out what these consequences are, as he apparently always hands it in on time with no prompting.

My parents never had anything to do with my homework so I had to be self motivated. I did well at school and am now running my own business because I am capable of organising my own time. I suppose I treat my DCs the same way I was treated, with the expectation that they will take it seriously themselves as I won't be chasing them, I have enough on my plate. It's one thing to say "homework time" and be on hand if there are problems, but screaming at them seems pointless.

If parents are continually pushing and cajoling a child into studying they never learn the consequences of not doing it and they never learn to organise their own time, so what happens if they get these good grades, get to Uni or get a responsible job - will you still be there, giving them a to do list for the day, checking up that they've handed in a project to their boss?

I say leave them to it, let them experience the feeling of failure, I still remember having to write lines at school once for failing to do something. It stuck with me, as I'm sure would losing break/merits/privileges or whatever would happen these days.

wingcommandergallic Sun 02-Nov-14 13:40:17

Hard work, isn't it?

I don't remember my parents particularly checking if my homework had been done and I wasn't particularly organised. As a consequence, I often did homework in breaks and at lunchtime. This was ok for GCSEs and I did do revision but by the time I came to do A-levels, I couldn't coast on natural talent alone and struggled to develop good independent study habits.

Perhaps the answer is to put them in contact with someone who can help them understand the need for good self-motivated study? Not sure who or how though! Could you raise it with school?

addictedtobass Sun 02-Nov-14 13:41:03

Leave them to it, they'll either straighten out or get a lot of detentions.

Bunbaker Sun 02-Nov-14 13:42:31

Penelope I think you are completely missing the point that some children are completely unmotivated when it comes to homework, no matter what the parents do.

There are many threads on here from parents who have one child who is self motivated and one who has to be sat on to do homework. So it can't be the parents' fault.

DD is in year 10. Things have changed a lot since I was at school, and not doing well in her GCSEs is not an option. Resits don't count these days for university applications, and if DD doesn't get the right grades she won't be able to go into the 6th form at her school which is what she wants to do.

I gave DD the option of me not reminding her at all and dealing with the consequences at school and she was horrified at the idea. She is doing GCSE art this year and has a lot of coursework. If she doesn't do the coursework she doesn't get the GCSE. It's as simple as that.

Hairtodaygonetomorrow Sun 02-Nov-14 13:44:12

It all seems a bit more than about just homework. You say they don't socialise really, don't go out as a family as no-one seems to enjoy it -are they living in their bedrooms? Is this due to computer game obsession?

If my 10/11 year old says she's not doing her homework, I say fine, knowing full well the penalty is staying in at lunch-time and completing it in their primary school. I always offer help, a table, the right pens, help them log in as a lot of it is online but then leave them to it and if they are rude/don't want my help, I don't help and let the school deal with it.

There seems to be a lack of motivation all round towards achieving things- and living a normal life with friends/going out/being social with family- I think these things are all probably connected.

sanfairyanne Sun 02-Nov-14 13:45:01

will not doing the homework have any particular effect? if it is vital coursework, maybe yelling might be justified but otherwise they are probably right, it is pointless

redexpat Sun 02-Nov-14 14:00:01

I second witholding the wifi password until it is done. Id also try and motivate them with a carrot rather than a stick. If your hw is done by x o clock then they get pudding with dinner or whatever.

Bunbaker Sun 02-Nov-14 14:01:48

DD knows our Wi-Fi password, and as OH has memory problems, changing it isn't an option.

Andrewofgg Sun 02-Nov-14 14:03:51

I was a teacher's son. Homework was done the day it was set; if set on Friday then on whichever day of the weekend we agreed to fit in with my and family activities. If a lot was set on one day then aprt might be deferred to the next day but no longer.

No arguments; that's how it was.

HexBramble Sun 02-Nov-14 14:04:49

OP your son is 15 and by my reckoning, you have every right to check his internet history.

Demand his password, if he says no, router goes off.

theposterformallyknownas Sun 02-Nov-14 14:05:33

I never have made mine do homework as I think it is unnecessary.
If the schools didn't like it tough.
Perhaps not helping much here, sorry.

I think if your ds has been reading his text books this is likely to be more beneficial than set homework anyway.

IDontDoIroning Sun 02-Nov-14 14:05:52

If they are not in year 10 11 12 or 13 it's no big deal in my opinion.
Let them enjoy their holidays as once they get into yr10 it's a hard slog.

ihatethecold Sun 02-Nov-14 14:15:29

Sorry op. I think you're copping out here.
My ds14 sounds like your child.
Much prefers his Xbox to his homework.
If we didn't push him (and nag him)
His work would be rushed and not the standard that I know he is capable of.
His marks would be lower.
That isn't happening during his gcse years.

kellyandthecat Sun 02-Nov-14 14:28:58

I loathe the concept of holiday homework and fortunately my DCs schools have never seemed to assign a lot beyond reading. I'd say let them suffer the consequences - perhaps even contact the school and inform them of the situation so your DS can't wriggle out of it with excuses.

Another idea might be some kind of holiday tutor or education course next time. A friend sent her DD to one for a week and not only did the grades improved but all the work was quickly done under supervision and the rest of the holiday was agro free for everyone!

bigbluestars Sun 02-Nov-14 14:29:58

I don't get involved. I give my kids gentle reminders- which they thank me for, but it's their homework- if they don't do it they take the consequences.

Easy peasy.

Bunbaker Sun 02-Nov-14 15:20:41

Those that can be laid back about not getting involved - what years at school are your children? Would you still not push them if they were in years 10 - 13?

I can't not chase DD up as she is in year 10 and it matters.

blackheartsgirl Sun 02-Nov-14 16:47:27

I dont get involved either bar a gentle reminder. I spent years battling homework deadlines with ds and i decided to leave him to it in the end and face the consequences.

hes year 10 and gone from no homework completed and tons of detentions to a boy who completes all his homework on time.

dd1 is another matter, she is learning now I wont write notes or make excuses for her laziness over homework and i think shes slowly getting the message

blackheartsgirl Sun 02-Nov-14 16:56:16

Bunbaker ds is year 10 and is completely self motivated now, he is very clear on what he wants to do. Homework used to cause so much grief in our house, nothing worked, he just refused to do it even though he was grounded, xbox taken away, no rewards etc. I backed off, made it very clear to him that he was the only one who lack of qualifications would affect and it was up to him whether he wanted to get a good job or not because i wasnt prepared to wipe his back side for him any more.

hes great now. He even did all his homework the first weekend of half term and even got a b plus on one of his english assessments. I am so proud of him.

I was lucky with him though, i appreciate it might not be the right approach for every child

WorraLiberty Sun 02-Nov-14 17:00:03

Leave them to it and let the school punish them.

I have a 15yr old DS and over my dead body would he have a secret password on his computer.

Ladyleia Sun 02-Nov-14 17:00:06

I completely feel your pain. I always feel that it's a bit chicken and egg - if you help them by reminding, nagging and organising then they will never learn to do it for themselves and organise their own time. If you don't help them, the school comes knocking to say as work's not been handed in, he's got a detention (despite numerous warnings). Basically, you can't win.

I have decided in the end, that as my DS1 (yr 9) has problems with his 'executive functioning' ie can't organise himself at all, that I need to help and aid in any way I can until he is mature enough to do it himself. Is very painful though.

Shahrazad Sun 02-Nov-14 17:00:17

I have one (GCSE year) who is tremendously self motivated - has done a minimum of 3 hours revision every day this week, as well as taking dance exams, singing in a concert, going swimming, revising for a music theory exam, attending an optional maths revision workshop at school, and doing a shift at her voluntary job.

I have another one who would do absolutely nothing if I didn't check daily exactly what she has to do, for when, set a timer to start it, check it has been completed, and threaten to remove the batteries from the tv remote if it's not been done to a high enough standard. She has dyspraxia so the self-organisation is a real issue, but I think we are both sick of the daily battles to get her to meet deadlines. I breathe deeply, remind myself that she's not doing it on purpose, and help her with checklists, routines etc. With a lot of pushing she well get round to it. Eventually.

It's so exhausting though. We need to crack it by the time she's in year 10.

nokidshere Sun 02-Nov-14 17:29:52

My yr10 teen has done no schoolwork this holiday at all. I have issued a few "what about doing some homework/revision" to be met with "yeah later"!

He knows what he needs to do to
Get what he wants. He has to want to do it and I can't do it for him. No point at all nagging him however hard it is to say nothing!

itiswhatitiswhatitis Sun 02-Nov-14 17:34:32

I agree that the bigger issue is your 15 year old having a password protected PC. I remove it from his room altogether and have it in a communal area.

Idefix Sun 02-Nov-14 18:30:12

Oh op I feel your pain!! Last night we removed ds's computer from his room, I am so fed up of late night gaming, and no motivation when it comes to home work. Tried to to do gentle reminders and offers of assistance and have had months of detentions and teachers approaching (v small community) me at shops etc to moan about son. Have just spent all of today being his scribe (for speed) whilst he completes a whole piece of course work from scratch - brought home the wrong piece to work on and this was his last chance to improve it!! Would feel it was something that we did wrong as parents but dd is the complete opposite.

Will see if computer lockdown improves things, has mocks at end of the month...

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