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Homework fury

(35 Posts)
WinkyWinkola Fri 21-Oct-11 10:00:41

Ds1 has just gone bonkers over my asking him to do his half term homework. He always gets very angry about it.

Today, He has snapped pencils, stomped on bakugan and scribbled all over his worksheet.

I put him on his bed where he punched the ceiling and now his hand is bleeding. I've treated his hand with antiseptic and a plaster.

Tried to calm him and hug him but he won't be pacified. This happens in varying extremes every time we have homework. He is in year 2.

Dh thinks we should let him fail and go to school not having done his homework. School seems to work for him. He does well there. When he refused to get dressed we took him in his pyjamas twice. He gets dressed now.

So, do you think I should send him to school not having done his homework so that in future he might be more co-operative? I'd send a note to his teacher to explain.

I'm very weary of all the distress and grief over homework before he even starts it!

AKMD Fri 21-Oct-11 10:51:07

Yes, send him to school with a note explaining exactly why he hasn't done his homework and make an appointment to see his class teacher to work out strategies for helping him with his behaviour at home re. schoolwork. In year 2 it is not worth the fuss you are describing to make him do it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 21-Oct-11 13:16:21

I'd be really concerned about a child reacting like that. Does he do this all the time when you need him to be obedient or is it just homework? Does he get his own way normally? I would be worried that, if I let him get away with it, he would see that as a victory and be encouraged to try it again. Rather than sending him to school with a note I'd probably pick a time when he was calm and cooperative, work through it with him and be persistent. Y2 homework is not going to be arduous. I think you have to win this particular battle of wills.

sevenoften Fri 21-Oct-11 13:46:33

That's not a normal reaction. Forget the homework, I'd be worrying about your ds. confused

sevenoften Fri 21-Oct-11 13:58:05

Sorry, just re-read and I realise that's not that helpful. What I meant was, feel free to ignore the homework, but I really really think you need a closer look at why he is reacting so violently.

uptheirons Fri 21-Oct-11 14:01:05

I say send him without the homework and tell the teacher he doesn't want to do it. We went thru a phase in Y4 with ds being stroppy everytime hwk was mentioned and when I spoke to teacher at parents eve she said loads of parents has said the same thing. She didn't want us to have the hassle and said leave it and she arranged with the class that if they all did their hwk on time she would put another marble in the jar(already used for good work) and when its full they get a treat ie; watching a dvd in their pjs! I guess you have to be there! Its not worth the emotional stress for you both.

WinkyWinkola Fri 21-Oct-11 15:46:40

Yes, I know his reaction is extreme. He gets very angry a lot of the time about not much.

I've taken him to the G.P., been referred to a paed and am waiting for another referral to the CAMBHS, I think it's called.

He's calm now. He's done his homework. He did it really quickly. The prospect of going to school without having completed it really upset him.

He's always angry. But it's the same thing over and over for the last 4 years since he was 2. We're looking into it.

sevenoften Fri 21-Oct-11 16:55:25

Poor you. And poor him.

Glad the h/w is done, so you can put it behind you and relax over half-term. Hope the referral is useful.

MudandRoses Fri 21-Oct-11 21:53:27

Sorry if this sounds patronising, I don't know your situation but, from what you've said, I wonder whether you might find 'How To Talk so Children will Listen and Listen so Children WIll Talk' useful? It;s a really good book (and there are also classes that go along with it in some areas - n our area, Brighton, theres one running at the mo). Its especially good for getting kids to open up and talk...it sounds like he;s physicalising a lot of emotion that needs to be expressed in a different way?

sevenoften Fri 21-Oct-11 22:25:44

That's a good suggestion MaR. I found it v useful.

WinkyWinkola Sat 22-Oct-11 18:24:55

Yes, I'll get that book. It must help. Something must. Although I'm really not sure where we're going wrong right now.

He's on his bed again today screaming his head off.

At supper, he said he didn't want to eat so dh said, "Cool, let's go and get in your pyjamas and have some reading time." They read for about about an hour.

"No, I'm hungry."

"Ok, eat then."

"No." Ds1 shoves his plate away and angrily throws his knife on the ground.

"Pick that up, please and eat your supper."

"No, you're an idiot."

"Don't call me names like that. ARe you going to eat your supper?"

"No. I'm not hungry. Idiot"

Dh then comes round the table, picks up ds1 who starts screaming and dh says, "Upstairs to get into pyjamas then. And don't call me names."

"I'm hungry. I'm hungry," screams ds1. Dh has had enough. Carts him upstairs, puts him on his bed and tells him why he's on his bed and leaves him to scream, "You're an idiot. I hate you." We go up five minutes later as he has not stopped screaming and he has pulled the blind off the window, torn up his disposable bedsheets, flung books and toys across the room.

Such is his fury. He is now refusing to help tidy up and is still screaming about how hungry he is. Nobody is shouting at him. Nobody is smacking him. There is no reason for this mad frenzy. We've stopped sweeties and sugar in cereal in case that is causing his behaviour.

Please tell me where we went wrong there? Did we give him too many chances? Not enough? I don't get him. Is he mentally ill? He seems to seek out conflict at every opportunity.

Also today, we all had a lovely day out. Ds1 had been slightly contrary but too busy really enjoying running around so it didn't matter. Once home, he pretends to be asleep asleep in the car - we know he's pretending because 60 mins earlier, he was complaining about not having an iPhone to play with (it was his sister's turn to play with it).

So after two minutes of 'rousing' him in order to get him into the house - he's sitting right at the back of a 7 seater so it's hard to get him out without his co-operation - ds1 opens his eyes and says angrily, "You woke me up. Leave me alone." Dh asks him to get out of the car as it's cold outside and he'll get cold in the car. Ds1 snarls at him to leave him alone. So dh does and shows my dad around our half built extension. He goes back to the car five minutes later and ds1 is going beserk in the car, screaming he was scared, he was cold etc. It wasn't dark by the way and the car was parked right outside our house.

We cannot win. We can't do right and it's extremely stressful. For everyone.

What could be wrong with him? Sometimes I feel like we're being set up for tantrums and every choice we make in response makes no difference. He goes into rage.

Guess we'll have to get him assessed. Still waiting for the referral appointment though.

WinkyWinkola Sat 22-Oct-11 18:25:43

60 seconds, not 60 mins earlier he was complaining!

sevenoften Sat 22-Oct-11 20:05:25

Oh that sounds grim, WW. It is so wearing when you are walking on eggshells.

FWIW he sounds very very likely to have you and Mr WW - most people just can't keep calm like you have been doing. And from th elittle you've described you're doing just the right things: limited number of choices, clear consequences, sticking to it.

Perhaps you can make your own lives easier by stripping his bedroom of everything but the bed - less clearing up after the tantrums. But it sounds like you do need a referral at this point. I know I'm not much help, but just wanted to give you encouragement because it sounds like you really are handling it well, and I'm all admiration for you in keeping your cool.

Cheeseandseveredfingersarnie Sat 22-Oct-11 20:13:08

he sounds alot like my ds1.hes got alot better at handling his emotions as hes got older and with alot of help from camhs,family support alliance,child phycologists and the senco at school.alot of his anger turned out to be because he was struggling at school,hes dyslexic but we had a really hard job getting him diagnosed.
he still struggles with anger but recognises when hes about to become uncontrolable.he removes himself from the situation and has learnt some stratergies to calm himself down.

WinkyWinkola Sat 22-Oct-11 21:02:36

Are there some strategies I could help ds1 with immediately?

DownbytheRiverside Sat 22-Oct-11 21:05:26

Have you been to the GP?
Asked for a CAMHS appointment?
Talked to the school to see if he has similar behavioural issues there?

DownbytheRiverside Sat 22-Oct-11 21:07:20

In order to have effective strategies, you need to work out what the triggers are and what things are stressing him out. Specifically, not just 'I don't want to do the homework' Takes time and a lot of effort to pin down details.

WinkyWinkola Sat 22-Oct-11 21:10:05

Yep. Been to GP. She agreed his behaviour is extreme. She referred us to a paediatrician who found him to be physically fine but his behaviour also extreme.

We were then referred to CAMHS (is it?) but after a few weeks of waiting they said that because he's so young and. It been diagnosed with anything, they couldn't or wouldn't help. Sigh.

But his behaviour didn't improve so I went back to another GP in the same practice who said that letter from CAMHS was tosh. So he re-referred us and now we ate waiting for a response. But at this rate I'll be chasing it up on Monday.

Is there anything I'm missing or could be doing to help meanwhile?

WinkyWinkola Sat 22-Oct-11 21:10:46

And hasn't been diagnosed with anything. Sorry. Phone predictive text.

Cheeseandseveredfingersarnie Sat 22-Oct-11 21:12:07

as downbytheriverside said,he needs to recognise his anger and look at why/what makes him angry.it was a long horrible process(sorry dont want to lie to you) but the first time he was able to 'talk himself out of his anger' was amazing.he still gets angry rages but its a bit easier now.we made sure we got as much help as we could,i had visions of him being a big teenager,using his anger.
now were dealing with sadnesssad,never ending.

WinkyWinkola Sat 22-Oct-11 21:12:15

He's great at school. Keeps getting achievement awards.

The triggers appear to be us asking him to do something like getting dressed or doing homework. He says himself it makes him very angry. sad

verlainechasedrimbauds Sat 22-Oct-11 21:13:00

My sister found the book "The explosive child" very helpful.

This sounds very difficult and wearing. I agree with other posters that it sounds as though you are doing a great job in keeping your cool.

WinkyWinkola Sat 22-Oct-11 21:14:53

I too imagine him as a big teenager or a husband or father, unable o control his anger. I'm frightened of that to be honest and very very worried I won't be able to sort it out before then. I cannot let him carry on in this angry mode.

WinkyWinkola Sat 22-Oct-11 21:18:00

And I've not always managed to keep my cool. But we always try to remember he's only 6. But sometimes it's just better to just walk away when he's at his worst.

Cheeseandseveredfingersarnie Sat 22-Oct-11 21:24:31

its good that you walk away.you said about being scared of what will happen as he gets older.thats why we begged and begged for help.

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