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I am finding it so very hard with ds1 and I need some help

(4 Posts)
TheKitchenWitch Thu 18-Feb-16 15:26:42

He's always been a daydreamer, had problems concentrating on anything that doesn't interest him (ie schoolwork, getting dressed in the morning etc) and I've been in school a dozen times because of it. He's not disruptive, he just wanders off mentally and doesn't get on with anything.
Considering all that, his grades are middling to quite good, so dh and I have been reluctant to push it any further.
I've talked to both our paediatrician and a therapist about him, but though we suspect he's probably got ADS, there isn't really much on offer that I haven't already tried.

Anyway, the main issue really is homework.
We are in Germany, where the homework is an integral part of the schoolwork, it's non-negotiable. Ds is in the 3rd year of Grundschule (almost 9yo) and is expected to have 1 - 1.5 hours of homework a day.
The quantity is not the problem. It's his attitude towards it, which i know has come about due to the constant nagging and criticism etc (from both school and me). He hates it, he thinks it's too much, he thinks he can't do it, it's a constant non-stop battle. He will argue every single point he can, his work is almost unreadable at times it's so messy (though the writing etc he does for himself ie not for school is very good indeed).

We are arguing almost every single day, it's taking forever to get anything done. He is so unbelievably rude to me, so aggressive and horrible, I sometimes don't recognise him at all.
And then, when it's over, he basically goes back to being himself again while I am deeply upset and can't quite forget it.
It's damaging our relationship and I really don't know what to do about it.

I need strategies that change his (and my) attitude, we've somehow got into this awful pattern of it being dreadful and so it is dreadful iyswim.

Sorry this has been so long. I'm so down and sad and frustrated I really don't know what to do.

BarbarianMum Thu 18-Feb-16 15:49:14

What would happen if you stepped back and left him to it? If he didn't do it, what would happen then? And what would the end result be?

It might be worth giving these things serious consideration. As a parent, it is your job to support homework and create a space in your lives for your child to do it, not to force them to do it. Soon he will be beyond the age at which you can force him, so he will need to be self motivated.

Looking at something as being 'non-negotiable' is a very German approach (hope you don't mind me stereotyping, I am half German and find it generally true there). But actually, some things are actually negotiable. Or let the school do the non-negotiating, if this is really the case.

TheKitchenWitch Thu 18-Feb-16 16:58:11

He would fall behind. The homework is not really "extra", it's doing what I think should really be done at school - practicing to make sure you really do understand something.
I have tried leaving him to it...and he's often still sitting there at 6pm (gets in from school at 12.30), and it's not finished or only half done or done so badly he then has to do it all again the next day.
I don't think life is all about homework and school, he has no time to do anything else at all, so I really do need to find some sort of solution which both helps him, because as you say, I'm not always going to be there to jolly him along, and is acceptable for the school. He's still in Grundschule, so it's just about doable, but if we don't find some way for him to manage his time and workload, it's going to be too much in high school.

BarbarianMum Thu 18-Feb-16 17:19:42

I understand that the homework is not "extra" like it is in the UK.

So, he would fall behind. How would he feel about this? Would it motivate him to work harder, or demotivate him, or would he not care?

If he didn't do his homework, would school impose a consequence? How would he feel about this? Would it motivate him to do his homework, or would he prefer the consequence to doing his homework?

How does he feel about falling behind so much that he is kept back a year?

Hopefully, somewhere inside him he does care - about being behind, or being left behind, or being punished by the school or by disappointing you or his teachers. It is this caring that you can use to get him onside - then you'd be supporting him to find ways of getting through it, not fighting with him. But you may have to let him fail a bit to unlock this self responsibility (at the moment you are responsible for him doing his homework).

If he does, ultimately, care then you can discuss strategies and rewards (what worked for me was homework before school as well as after, so no session was too long).

If he doesn't, ultimately, care (my cousin was like this and didn't sort himself out til he was 30!) then it isn't worth you destroying your relationship with him over - just let him face the consequences of his choices.

Good luck!

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