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Encouraging Ex. to Do Homework With DS During Contact Visits

(7 Posts)
GirlInASwirl Fri 30-Jan-15 12:40:20

Most of my DS's homework is on weekends/holidays so it clashes with contact time. Many of the activities given are assessment pieces (as there is an assumption that the children will have time on their hands to complete).

Ex shows no motivation to support DS (11yrs) with homework when he is on contact visits. Sometimes work is returned untouched, sometimes it looks like 10 mins has been dedicated to it (and the overall quality is poor).

I have spoke with Ex to suggest how important homework is and to bear in mind that the school will be choosing ability sets soon based on potential. I try to get as much work out of the way during the week as possible. I have also sent e-mails with clear instructions on what the school are looking for- and offered phone calls if Dad wants to discuss anything further.

I take education as a core parental responsibility and would like Ex's support to push DS forward.

DS is very bright and produces fantastic work when supported. But (like most kids) will also chose not to do homework if he can get away with it.

How do you get someone on board who is determined that contact time is about leisure only, rather than meeting obligations?

inthename Fri 30-Jan-15 15:02:14

an honest answer? I don't think you can. I've had this same problem, my ds is now 13, all I've been able to do is go and see each school he's been in, explained the situation and made sure that the school and I work in close partnership. They in turn are aware when there has been insufficient time to do a really good piece of work as they can see the difference in the day to day stuff. I also try to ensure that ds has done all required research and that we have everything ready to put the work together. Its a different sort of skill to perhaps how other households structure homework time but its worked so far. In all honesty my ex wouldn't even respond to email instructions as he'd view it as me telling him what to do. Plenty of children this age have parents not interested in homework, so would imagine school could also help.

steppeinginto2015 Fri 30-Jan-15 15:43:39

I don't think you are going to get him on side.
I would try a 2 prong approach

1. talk to school. If homework is given fri for mon, ask them about timing, so that ds can do it on another night
2. get ds on side, talk to him about how HE is going to manage this, at some point he is not going to be able to go without homework all weekend. get him to make a plan, and then loads of praise for his independence/responsibility, without mentioning dad.

steppeinginto2015 Fri 30-Jan-15 16:32:53

meant to say, ds is year 7 and he takes a lot of responsibility for his own work. I don't check the quality of what he does, that is between him and his teachers. But he is at grammar and knows he won't get away with it
(he had to re-one one piece because she said he hadn't tried hard enough, so the school are quite hot on quality)

swingofthings Wed 04-Feb-15 14:20:27

I agree that your focus should be on your DS not your ex. He is in secondary school and needs to learn that he is responsible for his homework, rather than expecting mummy and daddy to tell him what to do and be next to him to check everything he does.

What you can do is tell your son that you expect him to do his homework at his dad and discuss when would be the best time for him to set time for it. Then as soon as he comes home, sit with him to check what he has done and tell him he can't do anything until he has done/finished it properly. He will soon learn that he is better off doing it at his dad.

In a way, it makes it easier to introduce self-discipline which he should be learning to apply at home too.

yellowdaisies Thu 05-Feb-15 21:30:30

I have similar problems with my ex. Dd (11) cares very much about doing her homework but has often needed support since starting secondary, and this has resulted in her refusing to stay at her dad's on a school night so she comes home so I can help her instead.

DS on the other hand cares little about his homework and needs a kick to do it which his dad doesn't give him. I've tried a range of things - speaking to ex about it, reminding DS at the start of the weekend or occasionally phoning or texting DS or my Ex while DS is there to remind him.

It pisses me off really as DS thinks his dad is the nice relaxed parent but, like you, I think it's part of being a decent parent to support homework. I'm contemplating reducing contact time if Ex won't support DS more with it. At the moment I feel I'm doing all the parenting but in only half the weekends

GirlInASwirl Mon 09-Feb-15 13:20:27

Thank you for your suggestions so far. I spoke to DS before the weekend gone to see if there could be any movement forward. He has spent twice as long this weekend (independently) to do homework - which is a good step forward. He tells me that 'Dad does not support homework'.

DS does need extra support as he has concentration/motivation/information processing problems. We are working with school to see if there are special needs there. There are certain things he can do independently and I let him just get on with that.

I think contacting the school to let them know the homework situation is potentially a good idea - even if it is just to make them aware. Yes, there is a lot of homework given at the end of the week for the Monday. I am not sure that asking for it earlier will help though - as there is plenty to cover mid week too.

I think its work before relaxing - similar to Yellow's view. It's difficult when contact works against other priorities. I also feel sorry for DS when he is rushing to get things done mid-week because of lack of support from ex.

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