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My 10 yr old driving me bloody mad with sulks about his homework - AAARRRGGGH - advice on how to handle please!

(35 Posts)
CantThinkofFunnyName Wed 07-Oct-09 18:06:41

Ok - deep breath. DS (10), yr 6 is academically average. Sometimes does his homework no problem, but when he doesn't want to do it - for whatever reason - he strops like a true Kevin/Perry teenager, gives me lots of "for gods sakes" and usually "we haven't even learned this at school"!

Even if they haven't learned exactly how to do something in school, the instructions are usually on the piece of paper but he just decides in his own mind that he can't - or won't do it.

Does anyone else have this kind of problem with their DCs? If so, how do you handle them? I range from trying to speak with reason, assist etc to how I reacted just now of "get up to you room, out of my sight, do not put on your TV and do not come back down here until you have changed your attitude" blush

He has just come back down and apologised and is now doing his homework but the tutting and tears is driving me up the wall again!!

vbusymum1 Wed 07-Oct-09 18:12:50

Watching this with interest as I could have written the same word for word. I have even considered speaking to the school to see if they want me to keep on at him about it or whether they would prefer me to leave him to it which would mean that no homework would be done at all.
You have my deepest sympathies.

CantThinkofFunnyName Wed 07-Oct-09 18:18:37

Thanks vbusymum1 - it's really frustrating isn't it? The thing is, when he puts his mind to it - he just gets on with it and has no real problems. I think most of the time it's his reading/comprehension that is the issue and if he reads something he "doesn't get" or doesn't understand immediately he just flips his lid!

gingertoo Wed 07-Oct-09 18:24:40

DS1 used to be like this - thankfully the phase has passed!
I used to be very matter of fact about the whole thing - saying something along the lines of
'OK, don't do it - just remember you'll need to explain to Mrs Teacher tomorrow why you have not done it'
or
'Did I set the homework? No? Well, why are you cross with me about it? If you really feel that your homework is unfair, you need to speak to your teacher'

He eventually realised that causing a fuss gets hime nowhere so he just gets on with it

mrshibbins Wed 07-Oct-09 18:25:56

we have the same thing with DD in year 4. The teacher has explained to us that all the homework does is reinforce what they did in class that week but DD will insist until she is blue in the face that they've never done it or anything like it (because she didn't listen in class) and will do anything to get out of doing it / will want you to do it for her (I won't- what's the point in that?) and if made to sit down and do it on her own will often have a full on tantrum about it - it's just soooo tiring for all concerned.

Do the schools realise what bollox they are putting parents through by making them 'buy into' primary school homework requirements? All I ever used to do when I got home from primary school was watch TV and it never did me any harm grin

CantThinkofFunnyName Wed 07-Oct-09 18:29:55

MrsHibbins - ditto all the way!!
Gingertoo - I've done the whole, fine then, tell Mrs x why you haven't done it and I didn't set it - not my fault etc!! I usually just end up with the full on tantrum. V tiring, v frustrating but nice to hear other people do have similar issues.

vbusymum1 Wed 07-Oct-09 18:31:49

ginger - I'm so pleased to hear that it will pass. I would dearly love to be so matter of fact about it but as a past "girly swot" and lover of all things school/homework/exams the very look on DS's face when I try to get him started just sets me off. He has now just gone out on the trampoline in the near dark when I tried to get him started just to escape.
I worry that without me there pushing him he won't do anything and I hate the thought that he won't achieve his full potential through sheer stubborness.

gingertoo Thu 08-Oct-09 14:29:55

I know exactly what you mean.
It worried me sick when ds1 was going through this phase - and I can tell you honestly that being 'matter of fact' with him was against every instinct I had! But I think that by not causing a fuss and putting the responsibilty back towards him, he learnt to just get on with it. (He always did it eventually but we had a few close shaves with homework being fininshed in the car on the way to school!)
He's a different boy now, thankfully. He's doing very well at school and always does his homework before the weekend.....

one parenting hurdle overcome - on to the next one.....

Hullygully Thu 08-Oct-09 14:35:37

I agree with Gingertoo, too. And I used to say that I was happy to help if he'd like me to, as long as he was pleasant.

vbusymum1 Thu 08-Oct-09 15:03:40

ginger, hully do you mind telling at what age this passed so I can try and pace myself for the months and years ahead.
So far all homework has been handed in on time as DS goes to school on the bus so has to have it dome before he leaves the house.

Hullygully Thu 08-Oct-09 15:14:02

I couldn't give you an exact age, I think it just kind of got better gradually as he got older and took more responsibility for himself in other areas too.

It's v important to make it their responsibility!

inthesticks Thu 08-Oct-09 16:38:10

I had this with both DSs at primary school. Homework was the single greatest cause of family battles. Tears, tantrums and hours sitting in front of a blank sheet.

Both my sons are able and made good progress but were hugely resentful of homework (as was I, for I had to be the wicked homework police). I made them do it as I did not want them to get the impression that they could opt out.

Thankfully the transition to secondary school was the turning point. Both now sit down reasonably happily to get their homework done after school each day.

All this firmly reinforced my belief that homework was inappropriate for under 11s.

USERSRLOSERS Sat 10-Oct-09 00:25:10

Tell him that like death and taxes homework is one of the few certainties in life. My son was the same I used bribery because if they have no homework in yr6 (and yes I hate h/work) they wil have a major toe-curling shock in store in secondary school. My son is now yr 7 and has homeowork every night. I have told him that even though we all hate it it is non negotiable, if he doesn't want to doit he can have the detention.

inthesticks Sat 10-Oct-09 14:03:03

Yes that't the only good thing about homework in Primary, it's not such a shock when they get to Year 7.

DippyFarquhar Sat 10-Oct-09 14:08:52

I have this with DD2 and she's just started Sixth Form! Drives me up the wall. I tell her 'Fine, you can always leave and get a full time job' which seems to do the trick.

My own fault for not being strict enough before. So you'll reap the benefits if you can get through it now.

hellish Sat 10-Oct-09 14:10:00

user - What will you do though, if he opts ofr the detention?

hellish Sat 10-Oct-09 14:10:23

sorry for

nighbynight Sun 11-Oct-09 21:48:30

Oh goodness, 2 of my children are like this, and it drives me up the wall too. Homework for primary school children is just wrong, and wrecks family life and drives me to desparation(and if anyone thinks it cant wreck a whole weekend, ha ha, you havent started trying on friday night to get ds to do his ´homework).

I just hope it will improve as they get older.

The only thing that helps for us, is paying someone else to supervise the homework, in another environment, ie not at our house. But I cant afford this 5 times per week for 2 children.

CantThinkofFunnyName Mon 12-Oct-09 09:39:58

Thanks everyone. Well its Monday, which means its homework handing in and receiving day! No doubt the dramas will start again tonight. There was one piece of homework last week that neither he nor I understood which started the whole tantrum thing.

Does anyone else get this newfangled way of working out multiplications of using boxes and putting various numbers inside and round the edges?

I just don't understand and therefore cannot help him with that method. I can help him with most other things but not that!

Anyway - let's wait and see what joys tonight brings grin

purpleduck Mon 12-Oct-09 09:52:06

Can you do a small bit every day? My ds sometimes gets like this, and sometimes I think its more to do with facing a whole sheet rather than actually doing it. I know when we break it down (ie - only do part of it each day) then ds seems to cope better.

maddylou Mon 12-Oct-09 10:01:37

It is called grid multiplication---your school might run a parents session or buy/borrow a book on it and other modern methods.Coxhoe durham is a great site which might help too.good luck.

inthesticks Mon 12-Oct-09 13:43:27

There's another even worse method of division called chunking.
I used to help in the year 5 & 6 class at my son's primary. (He's now in year 7). I learned how to do these grid and chunking methods.
My view of these methods now is that they can be very useful for the less able child. I observed children, who could never have coped with traditional long multiplication or division, manage to cope with these methods. Having said that if you have a child who knows his tables and is reasonably able , the old fashioned way is far more efficient.
When it comes to tests you can use any method.

CantThinkofFunnyName Mon 12-Oct-09 13:46:13

I showed my DS a few years ago the longer, old fashioned method of multiplication and division and he got to grips with that - he seems to be as confused as I am with the more modern methods! Bit daft really isn't it - insisting that they complete work using the modern method when they can do the sums perfectly well another way?

inthesticks Mon 12-Oct-09 15:32:41

I agree. My son's primary school teacher insisted it was vital for him to learn the new method even though it takes twice as long.
When I spoke to the Year 7 maths teacher she confirmed what I suspected , she couldn't care less how they do the sum as long as they can do it.

Snorbs Mon 12-Oct-09 16:16:53

My 11yo DS does this sometimes. I put my foot down and insist that he does it as soon as he gets it. It avoids a lot of hassle. It also means that if he claims not to understand it there's time for him to go and ask his teacher about it before it's due in.

After one particularly big strop over his claims that he's not been taught how to do his homework, I said "What, your teacher is setting you homework that you haven't been taught? Right, you and me will go and speak to your teacher in the morning because it's downright unfair for her to do that!" Coincidentally he then very quickly "remembered" that he had actually been taught that topic earlier that very day.

He knows me well enough to be sure that I'd happily call his bluff like that grin

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