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DS refusing to do his homework

(47 Posts)
Leilaniii Sun 17-Sep-17 04:16:30

DS (aged 12 and a half) has not done his homework and announced he wasn't going to do it as "it's the weekend". This is the homework that he has had all week to do.

It isn't a lot of homework, although some of it is extra homework as he is a bit behind and has chosen to go to a senior school next year which is quite academic. This was his choice.

I am furious. What on earth do I do? You can't argue with him as he just threatens to run away/call the police. I'm at my wits end.

Does anybody have any advice? Thanks.

BBCK Sun 17-Sep-17 04:29:48

It's time for him to accept the consequences of his actions. You've told him what you expect and so has the school. Let him get a detention in school and remove some privileges at home. This may work but I'm still battling with ds 16!

Leilaniii Sun 17-Sep-17 04:41:39

They don't really do detention at his school, but I can remove privileges at home. I guess I could take his phone away as he seems to spend most of his time on that.

If I was really mean, I could stop him going to his dancing class as that's his 'thing'. But then I wouldn't want to let the other dance students down as they've got a concert coming up.

BBCK Sun 17-Sep-17 04:47:13

Is the homework useful and relevant? If the school don't have consequences for no homework and the homework is not essential for his progress you may need to pick your battles. Good luck!

Leilaniii Sun 17-Sep-17 04:56:22

Yes, it's useful and relevant. The extra work is practice in things that he is struggling with. I help him with his homework, where he needs it. So it's not that he can't do it.

He also has an art project due in and I told him I would take him out today to buy some things for it. But I don't think he's interested.

He would rather just sit on a beanbag on his phone in front of the TV. Or cause problems with his sister. Or jump around in the lounge room using his entire body weight so that the whole house shakes. When I tell him to stop, he says he's practicing his dance moves.

God, I really despise him today sad.

claraschu Sun 17-Sep-17 06:09:33

I would take away his phone and disconnect the TV/ turn off wifi. Screens are such a quick fix that they make the effort of doing real work seem like drudgery, and can keep kids from learning to enjoy the process of making an effort and seeing results. I would aim to be good humoured, clear in my expectations, and firm, and not to talk or negotiate.

I definitely would never stop a child from doing something like the dance class, which enriches his life and gets him to exercise both his body and his mind. That may well be the way he is building confidence and a sense of responsibility, as well as learning to express himself and have a passion.

Leilaniii Sun 17-Sep-17 06:14:55

Thanks claraschu, I'm glad you've said that about the dance class as I was just about to email the teacher and cancel his place.

I will take his phone away and disconnect the TV. I also want to take his guinea pigs away as he doesn't feed them but keeps lying that he has fed them.

I am so fed up with him I just wanted to kill myself yesterday.

isthistoonosy Sun 17-Sep-17 06:41:23

I get the feeling there is a lot more to this than him just not wanting to do his homework this weekend.

Can you change the wifi password and make the kids do their homework and chores to earn it.

BertrandRussell Sun 17-Sep-17 06:44:03

Leila do you think you might be a bit depressed?

claraschu Sun 17-Sep-17 06:46:57

I am sorry you are going through this Leilaniii. It does sound very hard, though pretty normal too.

I guess I just feel like hobbies which get kids to think and move and meet new people are so healthy for them, especially when the alternative is staring at a screen! Lots of kids give up their sports and hobbies as they become teenagers, and I always feel like the kids who hold on to their outside interests have some protection against all the challenges of being a teenager.

Would you be able to find a better home for the piggies? I love guinea pigs and hate to see them neglected.

I think with the phone and TV, the point is that you are not punishing him but trying to empower him to do the best thing for himself. The trick is to get him to see this for himself, so he realises that if he does a bit of work, school will be more fulfilling.

I see unlimited phone use for some kids as being equivalent to giving unlimited sweets and junk food; they might never get around to eating anything healthy. I might do something like take away the screens until after he has done some homework.

Does your son want to be a dancer? Is school hard or easy for him academically?

Leilaniii Sun 17-Sep-17 06:56:44

*@BertrandRussell*, yes I do think I am a bit depressed but it is a single issue. Everything else I can deal with. My life has been hard but I am generally a bit of a Pollyanna, always cheerful and can always see the silver lining. However, he just defeats me.

*@clarashu*, please be assured the piggies will be fine. There is no way I would let them suffer. I feed and cuddle them daily, they would never be neglected.

I have just changed the WiFI password to "doyourfuckinghomework' grin (hope DS isn't a secret Mumsnetter).

The dancing thing is new. He has only been a few times but is really, really good. We had no idea! Academically, he is bright but unmotivated. He can be a bit of twat at school which causes people to pick on him.

Thanks for all your replies, I am feeling really desperate and I appreciate you all taking time to give me advice.

CommanderDaisy Sun 17-Sep-17 07:15:18

As a rule, we limit all screen time on any device, especially on the weekend. Our boys may use a device or watch TV till 10, then not again till 5. If there is homework to be done, screentime doesn't restart till it is done, or half completed with the remainder finished the following day.

Weekdays it's no devices or TV in the morning till they are completely ready for school, and in the afternoons, nothing till homework is done.If we have particular jobs we want them to do, they can earn early marks, or if they misbehave they lose time.

We had a nightmare couple of weeks when we started this, but now it's become a habit for the kids. We also found that the more both of them were gaming/staring at the phone/TV/Computer etc the worse their behaviour was. The reduction in their usage has made a giant improvement.

BertrandRussell Sun 17-Sep-17 07:54:03

What happens if you just back off completely?

BertrandRussell Sun 17-Sep-17 07:56:09

You're obviously feeling awful about him and i'm not sure why- is there s lot more you haven't said? Because his behaviour doesn't sound too bad.......

Leilaniii Sun 17-Sep-17 08:29:02

Not really BR. Except that he doesn't do a single thing he's told. Screams and shouts. Kicks walls and furniture. Maybe I expect too much?

Crumbs1 Sun 17-Sep-17 08:32:38

Take the phone away until its done to an acceptable standard. Turn the internet off too. No food until it's done.
I really think that at 12 you need to make absolutely clear what the rules are. Let him call the police about his own shoddy behaviour and get told off for wasttheir time.

AdalindSchade Sun 17-Sep-17 08:35:25

Sounds like he's spending too much time on his phone, which will make him irritable, distracted, unmotivated and generally a twat. You need to severely limit phone time. Not just so he does homework but in general.

LiveLifeWithPassion Sun 17-Sep-17 09:12:01

Come up with a plan with him.
I think refusing to do his work is just him trying to be a bit more in control so let him be in control.

Ask him what would help him to be able to do his homework.
Ask him what time on a daily basis would be a good time for him to do his work.
Ask him how you can help him make this school year go well for him.

Come up with a plan and stick to it.

C8H10N4O2 Sun 17-Sep-17 09:16:20

Has his behaviour changed recently or has he always avoided homework?
Does he do other other requested actions eg a share of tasks around the house, making bed etc?

If he has a specific talent for dance, its a very disciplined art form and he may well benefit from doing more of it in a structured regime. Most dance schools reinforce the importance of school work as well.
I would rehome the guinea pigs, he needs to know you can'y neglect living creatures.

How has he reacted to removing the phone and wifi? As for calling the police - a friend of mine handed her daughter the phone when she tried that one (like you she was at her wits end).

BBCK Sun 17-Sep-17 13:40:58

My son has gone through phases like this. He is absolutely idle and obnoxious st times. Taking away his phone makes a massive difference to his whole personality. To stop myself backing down I make sure I take it to work and leave it there along with his Xbox controllers. It's like he has to go right to the wire before he will rein himself back in. The last few years have been a nightmare tbh but he's now 16 and showing some signs of becoming human again so don't give up hope. I too have spent the last few years unable to stand his company - it doesn't make me a terrible mother, just a normal person 🙂

HangingRock Sun 17-Sep-17 16:10:46

What does the school do if he doesn't do homework?

Leilaniii Mon 18-Sep-17 03:34:09

The last few years have been a nightmare tbh but he's now 16 and showing some signs of becoming human again so don't give up hope.

Thank you. I needed to hear that.

Yesterday, after I disconnected the WiFi, DS came looking for my laptop to see if I had WiFi and unfortunately he saw this thread. I don't think he read much of it, but was very upset.

He claims the reason he is so uncooperative is because he doesn't get enough freedom and that we don't socialise enough. Fair point on both. I told him I will invite people over more. I will also populate the garden with some fun things to do, like a trampoline and a tennis set. I don't really like them being out there as I am scared of spiders and snakes, but I just need to educate them about the dangers (we live in an area where this is a problem).

As for the homework... fuck knows. His teacher is very laid-back and I think he sees this as a sign that he doesn't have to do it. Some of the homework is work that I have requested and again, I think he thinks this is optional.

ifonly4 Mon 18-Sep-17 11:24:51

It might be worth asking if you can have a calm chat with him, explaining you want him to do his homework, every school sets it to help practice things more and also give the school feedback on progress and how they can help each and every pupil.

Why doesn't he think he gets enough freedom? We've all different on what's right for our kids. It might be that if he shows he's spending time to do his homework, even if he's struggling and can't do some, you could make a point of letting him have friends over more for tea, Saturday afternoon whatever suits. When he's say 13, if he's trying his best with school and he's given you no reason not to trust him, then at that point he could have more freedom and say meet friends in town, go to the cinema

magada Mon 18-Sep-17 11:36:32

We found limiting T.V. helped, with strong routines. Mine has to complete chore, clear bedroom, homework and quiet time before screen time. It often works, and when it doesn't it's usually for 3 or 4 reasons- homework is too hard, he's too tired/hungry or he's worried about something and can't concentrate. I understanding despising - I try to turn it around and wonder what I could do differently.

Leilaniii Mon 18-Sep-17 11:56:49

Thanks both of you. Some good advice there.

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