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When your child is labelled as Lazy - who should be changing this mindset?

(16 Posts)
RoadArt Tue 12-Jul-11 22:51:13

This has been an issue right through school. Capable, but lazy, could try harder but cant be bothered. Has the ability but isnt interested.

We have known this for a while and put it down to not being stretched or motivated at school because teachers focus more on the under achievers. However, the teacher this year is focussing on DC and has identified lazyiness as a serious issue.

So, who should be making DC less lazy, is it my job or the teacher? I do what I can but I know that part of the problem has been because the teachers in the past have never shown an interest in her work so she doesnt try.

Just curious what other parents/teachers think?

pointydog Tue 12-Jul-11 22:58:28

How old is she?

cory Tue 12-Jul-11 23:00:32

Depends on his age, but if he is above 9, then I think the main responsibility must lie with your ds.

Dh was like this- certainly not the fault of the school (they tried everything to get him to work and it was a very good private school), he just didn't like putting himself out.

Ds (though probably not gifted) is a bit like this, he needs to be hounded with detentions to get off his arse, because that seems to be the only thing that motivates him. I am hoping that he will eventually develop the maturity to see that it is in his own interest to do some work.

thisisyesterday Tue 12-Jul-11 23:00:35

well has the teacher said why s/he thinks that she is lazy? or what they will do at school to help motivate her?

there really isn't much you can do at home to help her achieve in school in terms of getting on and doing work is there?

Goblinchild Tue 12-Jul-11 23:07:31

' part of the problem has been because the teachers in the past have never shown an interest in her work so she doesnt try. '

Look at the marking in her books. Does it appear positive, but with a suggestion about how to improve for next time? Is her homework marked on time? Does she get rewarded for effort in the same way as others in the class or is she ignored?
How do you know that no one has been interested in her work?
Only from her, or do you have other evidence?

cory Tue 12-Jul-11 23:15:00

If the problem is teachers in the past, one thing you can do for her as a parent is to reassure you that the past doesn't have to follow her, that things can be different. My dd had a truly rotten time at junior school, but I think one reason she has done so well later is that I have done a massive PR job on education in general.

RoadArt Tue 12-Jul-11 23:19:27

One of the major issues I have is the books never seem to get marked. So no feedback or suggestions for improvement. (Previous years)

Doesnt get homework - not school policy

Never gets any rewards. Only disruptive / naughty children get rewards and treats.

She says teachers never looked at books. And looking through there is no indication that teachers every did.

So they never highlight or identify what is wrong, so DC has carried on assuming that it is ok to - never complete work, not bother with layout, not answer the questions etc. The current teacher just keeps saying she is lazy and is spending time with her to try and change her mindset but is also struggling because no-one has ever made an issue of it before. She is 10. She is surprised that this teacher is spending time on her books but she is still not making the effort to do any better. Teacher at wits end and doesnt know what else to do.

cory Tue 12-Jul-11 23:42:26

Right, this sounds like you could do something as a parent. Sit your dd down and explain. I would be quite frank about the fact that the previous teachers have not been doing their job properly, but would stress that now she has got a teacher who really does care. Also stress that she is growing up and will have to take more responsibility for her work anyway.

strictlovingmum Tue 12-Jul-11 23:52:47

If there is no homework, it maybe a good idea to start setting your own in house homework.
She needs to be built up, little by little, we had similar issues with DS, at the age of 11/12 he just could not be bothered and he was getting into lazy mode.
Our DS was at the time on the doorstep of puberty, so there was lot of protesting and grumbling, but we got our way at the end. It was not easy, but after only few days he stopped protesting and just got on with it.
This approach we had with DS was very much "cruel to be kind" type, but it paid off, today he is reformed character, hard working with very clear goals aims, nothing lazy about him today.

RoadArt Tue 12-Jul-11 23:56:34

HI Cory. We have had lots of conversations recently on these lines, and am working with the teacher so we are in partnership (teacher is brill). Just getting her to focus on self discipline, time management, self monitoring etc is a bit harder. We are also focussing more on independancy at home as well, being responsible for her own actions. When she wants to do something she is extremely capable but if she cant see the point of something thats where the issues are.

Its hard, but I am interested to hear feedback from other parents and how you have got through the "lazy" issue.

Thanks everyone

cory Wed 13-Jul-11 08:26:23

with ds I don't think we have got through the laziness issue yet: the only thing that makes him do any work is the threat of detentions hmm

however, I do have hopes for secondary school (he is going up in September)- there is more varied work, so I hope that will catch his interest, teachers who are more subject focused, long projects that he will have to do, more independence in planning their work

GooseyLoosey Wed 13-Jul-11 08:29:41

I was told last year that dd did not try hard at anything.

This year, I operated an incentive scheme for the first 6 months. Every day dh or I would ask the teacher if she had paid attention and for every day he said yes, 20p went in her piggy bank. For every day he said no, 20p came out. When she had £10 she was allowed to spend it on whatever she wanted. It actually worked quite well. My dd is younger than yours so the financial incentives could be quite small.

swash Wed 13-Jul-11 10:23:14

Sounds like she has had some really lazy teachers tbh - great that she has a dynamic one now.

My dss is lazy when it comes to schoolwork - or pretty much anything that requires effort. Part of the problem is that he is very competitive - and if something doesn't come easily, he gives up. I was similar and my aim is to teach him that trying hard can be really rewarding in itself. Whenever he struggles I give him a lot of praise for the efforts he makes. This definitely has an impact - as does hearing about my struggles with similar issues! On the stick side of things, DH makes him redo homework or thank-you letters etc if he hasn't bothered much - this has forced him to put a bit more effort in because he knows he won't get away with a half-hearted attempt.

It is tough though - he doesn't live with us so we can only do a little. He is at a highly academic grammar school, which has been quite hard on him. And he genuinely seems to have difficulty understanding how to work effectively. We are thinking of ways to help him learn revision skills etc - but it is hard when he is so uninterested. So this is definitely a work in progress. We have seen him put a lot of effort into some out-of-school projects recently, and it is just a delight to see him engaged. Some kids may take longer to find their thing, I think.

Dss doesn't read much and is overly keen on computer games - which are all about instant-gratification. I do wonder if that has had something to do with this.

munstersmum Wed 13-Jul-11 10:38:19

Am noting Goosey's top tip.

Given you think the problem has built up over time, I feel there is a case for tapping into whatever can be used as bribery extrinsic motivation to break the cycle. Doing your best for its own reward may have to follow?

mummytime Wed 13-Jul-11 10:52:16

I would suggest reading "The Myth of Laziness" by Mel Levine first.

Teachermumof3 Wed 13-Jul-11 10:54:21

The only person who can stop being lazy is your daughter. As a teacher, I would motivate and inspire her, recognise, praise and reward effort and achievement as well as set targets and determine why they haven't been achieved. As a parent, I would support and encourage her and reward where she has done well, but essentially it is down to her. She's the one who will miss out when her levels are less than where they should be. Blaming past teachers is pretty pointless to your daughter now-is she in Y5? What level is she in reading/writing/maths?

I'd arrange a meeting with her and this teacher (is the teacher the same next year?) and formulate a plan and realistic targets for the end of Y6. If your daughter really doesn't know how to improve-make that clear to the teacher that it's worrying her and make sure DD knows each lesson objective and exactly what is expected of her.

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