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Lack of self-motivation in 9 yr old DS

(5 Posts)
PhoebeMcPeePee Sat 01-Nov-14 09:43:36

I'm guessing this is fairly typical for a child of this age, but I can't get DS motivated to do anything for himself. Homework, including so-called 'independent learning projects' require me to stand over him going over everything step by step, even sporting activities that he loves don't get practised at home without a battle. All he's wants to do is watch tv or play computer games (already limited), go out on his bike or play - fine with those but not at the expense of everything else!
I'm at the stage of just wanting to cancel his extra-curricular activities (the expensive one in particular they does require practise) unless he puts in the effort outside class & leaving his homework & letting him explain to the teacher why he's not done it.

Am I expecting too much or should he start taking responsibility?

Galena Sat 01-Nov-14 10:52:09

Could you sit down with him, discuss the steps needed and write them down, then leave him to work through the list? And agree that x, y and z must be done before screen time or going out to play or whatever?

I think expecting children to go from highly supported to complete independence in one step is hard, but begin by scaffolding and he'll be able to see how to start organising himself. After a few weeks of doing the above, get him to try writing the list of steps first, then discuss it with him 'what about this? where does that step fit in?' etc.

Mashabell Sat 01-Nov-14 12:00:09

With children in the UK starting school at a ludicrously young age, and a long school day to boot, I am not surprised that sometimes they just want to chill.

Schools push children harder than ever nowadays too, to avoid being labelled 'failing', so doing more at home can't be very appealing. All this pushing prevents children growing at their own pace. And what is it all for? An extra grade or two at GCSE? What difference do they make to anything?

U definitely need to have some conversations with your son about this.

MilkRunningOutAgain Sat 01-Nov-14 14:33:31

While I think stopping an expensive activity and letting the school see how demotivated he is with homework both have merit, I agree with Galena that doing either straight away is a bit like going from one extreme to the other. Let him know you expect him to practice, remind him a few times a week, and let him know what the consequence of not practising will be in , say 3 months time, ie stop the activity. And with homework explain he needs to get used to doing it alone and slowly let him. I really think it's a good thing for his teacher to see what he does of his own accord. My DC's primary keep them in at break to finish uncompleted homework in yrs 5 and 6, this did motivate my ds to at least complete it, though with minimal effort generally.

My DS was the same at 9 but is now 12 and improving, he's yr 7 and is actually coming home and getting on with some homework before I get back from work, which is great, though we are still ending up with meltdowns at weekends from time to time as he realises how much he has to do, but even these are lessening.

Muskey Sat 01-Nov-14 14:39:30

Just reading your thread and I totally agree with milk (and hoping for a light at the end of the tunnel) dd is 11 and just won't/can't take responsibility for anything. A lot of the time I blame myself for not letting her fail a couple of times so that she can see the consequences of her actions

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