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8 year old Son won’t try and I have no patience

(12 Posts)
Jupin Wed 05-Aug-20 16:38:06

I need help... I know I am part of the problem but I don’t know how to fix it.

My son has inattentive ADHD and he is 8. He has always struggled at school and homework would take hours or screaming for a 10 minute piece of work. He will now sit down but will be wimpering and say he can’t do something before it’s even started and as soon as he has to think about an answer he says it’s too difficult... even though it’s exactly the same as all the others he has answered.

The moaning and flat out ’ can’t do it’ gets to me so quickly and I loose my patience. I make sure I encourage him and I’m as positive when he is doing it. But literally within minutes he shuts down I can’t get him to carry on and he just wimpers and says he can’t.

This has become like a vicious cycle during lockdown and I want to get better and find a better way to help him. I feel like I’m at my wits end with it and just can’t make it better.

His teaches struggle the same as me but imagine they just end up leaving him to it as he doesn’t often finish a piece of work in class. Does anyone have any strategies for this? I know I need to not let this get to me as much and stay more calm so anything that could help us both ?

OP’s posts: |
Spinachfinger Wed 05-Aug-20 16:42:33

Placemarking as my 7year old can be like this.

What got us through lockdown was breaking it down into chunk with regular breaks. And saying things like "would you like X when you have finished your writing?" Where X could have been an oreo biscuit or something. I didn't present it as a 'bribe' but as an incentive if that makes sense. Also things like "we will go out for a walk after you've done your maths" worked.

Worked well, he learned to get on with things. The start of lockdown was especially hard.

Rudolphian Wed 05-Aug-20 16:44:39

My 6 year old is very similar.
Mainly with her writing.
Sorry I dont have an answer. I'm just trying to do what I can, little and often.
You might get more advice on the education forums.

Bagelsandbrie Wed 05-Aug-20 16:47:37

What strategies work for his adhd? Breaking the work into tiny tiny bites and doing something sensory wise in between might work - star jumps, running about, etc. Does he have medication?

I’m going to be very honest.. I have an 8 year old son with adhd and autism and we haven’t done a single bit of work during lockdown. He is at a specialist school and they are very understanding. For us it’s just not worth the stress and distress. There’s no way I’d get into hours of him crying for a bit of work. We have just been doing whatever we like and occasionally he’s been interested in something and I’ve pursued it in a non work type way - for example he developed an interest in crystals and gems so I got some books and collections from amazon and we’ve been learning about them.

DuckingMel Wed 05-Aug-20 16:52:10

My 10 year old son (ASD) is like this. It's so hard and you have
my sympathy. Little and often is the thing to try, although it doesn't always work.

Mintjulia Wed 05-Aug-20 16:53:08

My ds did that endlessly.

Break the problem up into bits. Ask him about the first, very easy bit. Try to make it funny so he relaxes, or make it visual. With maths, we used Smarties a lot. smile

When he solves the first bit, praise him to the skies, 'see you can do it' etc. When he pulls together the three or four pieces to finish the whole problem, finish on a high. Leave it for a few hours, or until the next day before you try another one. Same process, break it down, make it visual, make it fun.

It can try the patience of a saint but it does work, eventually.

stayathomer Wed 05-Aug-20 16:55:22

Op no help here either, went through the exact same, would open notebook and start saying how unfair everything was

Mintjulia Wed 05-Aug-20 16:56:42

Also, when he says 'I can't do it' change that to 'I can't do it yet'.

Point out there would be no reason to go to school if he already could do it. That nobody knows how until someone teaches them, that not knowing how is where everyone even the head teacher started.

Jupin Wed 05-Aug-20 17:39:12

Thanks everyone.... I’ve been feeling like an awful parent so it’s nice to hear others in the same boat. Obviously it’s a rubbish situation for us all though.

@Bagelsandbrie we have no strategies just yet really as we only got his official diagnosis in Feb and then we were in lockdown. The plan was to send me on a course to learn ways to handle things then if no improvement in 6 months they would look at medication but that process hasn’t even started yet sad. Funnily enough my son also likes gems and crystals to collect and look at but as soon as I try and develop into learning anything about them he is bored... so I gave up and he just looks at them and shows them off to people .

@Mintjulia yeah I definitely need to try and make it more fun but I struggle to find ways that are fun for him. I’ve tried making things ‘crafty’ or making a big effort with an activity but then it just annoys me even more when he refuses to engage with it, which I know is my problem, not his. I just can’t seem to get it right for him with that stuff. Actually in the middle of the mental breakdown when I posted this he started doing rolley polleys and kept stopping himself going over as he was scared and then did it. And I explained that was what he needed to do with work, believe he can do it and keep trying and he will eventually roll over so to speak. Randomly that seem to help and we’ve managed to do two more short activities.

Movement breaks are something he has at school but they feel he generally abuses the system as he will be out of the class 5/6 times a day. Having a movement break at home doesn’t often work as he will usually return with the same attitude to the work but today it did help us to get abit further.

We are leaving it at that today but I think I need a tranquilser to get me through school wine grin

OP’s posts: |
lakesidesummer Wed 05-Aug-20 19:49:39

We have an ADHD dc. (12)
Much as I love him the homework/ homeschool thing can drive me nuts.
We have 20 minutes work, five minutes movement break on a loop.
Everything has an alarm and often a verbal prompt that a change is coming.
Everything gets broken into small chunks.
Sometimes just sitting beside him is enough, sometimes feeding back what he has said helps.
( sometimes nothing helps and I wonder if I can start drinking wine at lunch)

FourPlasticRings Wed 05-Aug-20 19:56:24

Sounds like he has a self-esteem issue. No kids like doing things they've convinced themselves they're bad at. Praise effort rather than attainment/time completed. Be his cheerleader and set realistic goals for him. Invest in a sand timer and intersperse ten minutes of work with ten minutes of play (no screens, Lego or something). Try not to invalidate his feelings- instead of saying, 'Of course you can do it!' when he tells you he can't, try, 'I can tell you feel that way. Sometimes I feel like I can't do things and it makes me not want to try. At the same time, I know that I don't need to be perfect, and as long as I do my best I'm doing brilliantly. Let's see if you can do your best at it for three more minutes and then we'll take a break.'

Bringonspring Wed 05-Aug-20 20:01:05

Hey, I actually got a tutor because I was struggling to get my son to read/write (I realise this isn’t an option for anyone). But I did find that anyone other than me and he would read for them, not sure if you have a friend/parent who could support.

From watching the tutor she 1) makes it super fun, so she’ll do treasure hunts with words, every 10mins he is allowed a connect 4 game on her phone and again she’ll say ‘star jumps’

Also, think about what you are trying to get him to read, who cares what it is as long as it’s enjoyable.

We have followed her and do treasure maps/reading clues etc/little puzzles with numbers . It’s a lot of effort but actually makes it fun for everyone

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