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Motivating a 12 year old!

(11 Posts)
jackofall Thu 20-Oct-11 16:09:28

Help please before i do something unspeakable! I have a lovely ds age 12 who since entering secondary school (top set for everything in yr 8) has decided that doing "the bare minimum" in homework and school work is enough. I have tried all the tricks i can think of in the book to motivate him from the gentle encouragement of sitting with him during homework time to encourage/help/suppprt to the evil mum impersonation of making him re-do sloppy/rushed work. Nothing works - all he wants to do is get it done as quickly as possible and watch tv/playstation etc. DS is naturally bright and finds things quite easy - but as recent end of term tests are showing this "apathy" is coming home to roost and he is in danger of dropping down sets - not due to lack of brain power but lack of effort! I am not snobby about set but equally know he would be gutted to be moved down - i do think that soon the "crying over spilt milk phrase" will be used !! I am finding this so frustrating especially when his younger brother has special needs and fights so hard for each academic achievement and yet he gets by on bare mimumum - a bit of effort and he could do so well.. confused... any ideas much much appreciated - more than anything i want him to want this for himself rather than be upset when he doesnt do well after the event....

kritur Thu 20-Oct-11 20:56:18

I would be tempted to let him learn his own lesson here and drop down a set..... If it would upset him that much then it could be the best way. Otherwise it is setting some boundaries for TV/playstation, whatever it is that he is rushing his work to get to. No TV or playstation before a certain time?

BonAppetit Fri 21-Oct-11 13:10:45

You sound just like me! - DS now in year 9. He dropped a set in science last year and was infuriated with himself. Worked hard and got back up to top set this year. We are very lucky that he has such a fantastic peer group (all his primary school friends) intent on doing well. It is so hard to motivate him and I have to limit tv/playstation and dangle carrots all the time. Good luck!

CustardCake Fri 21-Oct-11 13:23:24

If he drops down a set, will he have the chance to claw his way back up again or are the sets quite fixed? If there is a good chance to win back his place within a year or so, I would let him drop down too.
You can tell him 100 times what the consequences will be of a bright child who lacks effort but he wont really get it until they come to pass. You can lead a horse to water and all that....

busymummy3 Fri 21-Oct-11 23:12:06

Sounds like me too! We have limited him to 1 hour per week and 2hours per weekend on X box not at all easy but needs to be done. He doesnt like it now but we know if he drops out of top set he will miss all his mates and it will be harder for him to catch up and move back up again.

CeliaFate Sat 22-Oct-11 09:06:33

I wouldn't let him drop a set. I'd tell him xbox etc. is confiscated unless homework is done to the best of his ability.
I'd also give him pocket money if he put a lot of effort into his work - the more effort he put in, the more money he gets. Reward the attitude and effort.

maree1 Sat 22-Oct-11 22:34:43

Be far stricter with computer games time. Be tough.

Angelico Sun 23-Oct-11 18:52:34

Don't let him drop a set. I've watched this happen at work and what happens is the kid is then top of the new set with even LESS effort. Take the lead off his bloody TV and playstation if necessary but if he does something well then reward him weekly. Boys like immediate gratification.

mindgone Mon 24-Oct-11 01:38:25

Since ours were in the early stages of primary school, we have had a rule of no tv and no playstation on school nights (except Friday). They really have nothing better to do than their homework, to a high standard. It's one of the best moves we ever made! PS they only got the PS3 when they were 10 and 12.

sarahfreck Mon 24-Oct-11 16:56:21

Or you could do: time spent doing homework properly ( not messing) = time spent on computer, x box etc. therefor the more homework time spent, the more computer time earned.

MrsFletch Tue 25-Oct-11 11:14:16

Really pleased to see this thread. My son has just started Y7 and did quite well to begin with completing his homework. However he now has a project to complete and will just not get on with it. I tried to encourage him to spend time on it prior to half term but unfortunately that didn't work. He had a two hour slot this morning before a friend was coming round and I said he had to do at least 30 mins work during that time. This just ended up in an explosive morning and still no homework done. Unfortunately homework at primary school was an awful experience. He is very bright but will just sit at the table for the allotted time we give him, do nothing or end up crying saying he doesn't know what to do. His teachers just laughed when I reported this as they said he is extremely capable and knew exactly what he was meant to be doing. I do keep reminding him what needs doing, set particular timeslots in which to do it, not allow other activities until it's done etc but it still ends in a row every time. I have told him that I may just stop being involved with homework altogether and he can sort it out with his teachers. He just says fine, I'll just go to detention every day. Aaagh! Any tips?

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