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Struggling with my 11 yr old ds

(15 Posts)
beardedladydragon Mon 21-Nov-16 11:17:26

My ds started at secondary in September. He is an august birthday, so young in the year. We are having a number of issues at the moment, a lot is related to homework but also taking any responsibility for himself and his things.
Firstly he gets a lot of homework. At first we tried to support him through it but we have tried to back off so he takes some responsibility himself. It hasn't worked. He literally won't do it and if he does, it is of a really poor quality. He puts no effort into it at all. So far he has done okay because we have helped guide him I.e told him to reread his English and correct (the very basic) grammar and punctuation errors I.e. no capital letters, full stops or paragraphs. He is more than capable but doesn't seem to care. I read back his homework to him last week and it literally made no sense at all, yet if I prompt him he knows exactly where the errors are and how to write it properly. I had a look at his maths yesterday and every question was wrong. He hadn't written any working out down. I went through it with him and he knows what to do but because he hadn't bothered writing anything down it got muddled and he got the end answers wrong. He knows to write down his workings he just can't be bothered. He is like this with everything.
He complains about the amount of homework but actually because he doesn't do it, it builds up to what then appears to be an unmanageable amount. Yesterday I sat down with him and went through it all, we made a list of priorities and when he should do it. He was fine with that but when it came to it he just disregarded it and hasn't really made a dent. He spends more time moaning and protesting than actually doing anything productive. It is emotionally draining. We were positive to start with but the lack of any reciprocation means we are finding it hard now. We have decided that this week we will help if asked but we are not going to intervene otherwise.
This attitude extends to everything. He leaves old food in his room, his clothes on the floor. He can't work at his desk because it is such a tip. I have stopped doing all this for him and just piling it up on his bed because he won't even do the basic tasks that I ask of him, like making his bed or hanging his blazer up.
I have resorted to sending him to school with a carrier bag for his lunch because I can't be sure whether he will bring his lunch box home. He has lost his -£70- PE kit already. He doesn't take responsibility for himself or anything.
Ultimately I know he is a child but I don't know how to help him as he seems so unwilling to help himself.
We have 3 younger DC and he seems to make it his mission to torment them. He delights in winding them up.
He is actually a lovely boy but at the moment he is acting like a spoilt, entitled brat. I know that because of my frustration over his behaviour that I am short and snappy with him and this then becomes a vicious circle.
I am sorry this is so long. I just really don't know what to do. Please help!

NotdeadyetBOING Mon 21-Nov-16 12:55:58

Hi there, OP. I feel your pain. My DS is also an August born and is 12 so Y8. We are having very similar problems. Might your DS have dyspraxia? Just a thought. We assumed our DS was just idle and useless, but when we got an ed psych test it turns out he did have really slow processing skills which makes any sort of organisation a real challenge. Separate from that, I agree it is really frustrating when they don't take any care over homework and have to be forced to review it/prompted about basic grammatical stuff. As you can see, I am not exactly 'on top of the situation', but just wanted to say that I understand how hard it is. My sense is that they need our help/support spoon-feeding for longer than we'd thought. FWIW I try to keep my tone as light-hearted as possible and sometimes say things like 'no supper until you've tidied up the tip that is the bathroom!' or similar. Sorry I can't offer more help flowers. Will be watching this thread with interest!

cansu Tue 22-Nov-16 06:41:17

I read a good idea on here. Change wifi code daily. Give him letters for next day each time he completes a chore. Bigger chores get more letters. You could include homework in this. Explain new rule and sit back. Dont get involved in long debates about it. Be matter of fact. Include stuff like putting clothes in laundry bin and keeping room clean and hoovered etc. Use random password generator so it cant be guessed.

stupid123 Fri 25-Nov-16 20:47:24

stupid question.... but how do you go about changing wifi code?

I have a BT hub box thing it that has a lengthy password printed on back of box.

glitterandtinsel Fri 25-Nov-16 21:00:31

My ds1 is 12 and uses his pants to wipe his butt. He's washed them by hand made no difference. We now have to check his butt after pooing and showering.
I hope this makes you feel better. They're still learning...?

Veggiesupremeextracheese Fri 25-Nov-16 21:02:24

Glitter are you being serious?!

junebirthdaygirl Fri 25-Nov-16 22:05:33

My ds was quite like yours op in first year. Lost his shoes. How can you lose your shoes? Only way to see any decent homework was me to sit at one end of kitchen table reading paper. Him to sit at other end doing homework. He could ask for help if needed. He lost homework already completed. Couldn't have cared less.. Roll on a few years. He is now in college. Out on placement at the moment. Got a review today from all managers he has worked with and they are all glowing reports. So don't panic. Many won't agree with me here but help him as much as possible. He is obviously struggling so make life a bit easier for him and he will get there in the end. When l accepted that it helped and took the stress out of the situation. I couldn't stress what a great guy he has grown into. I think if l hadn't helped him at that stage he would have floundered too much and maybe fell behind. Stick with him. It's a vulnerable age.

VagueButExcitlng Sat 26-Nov-16 07:50:58

Probably going against the grain but at only just 11 he is still a little boy. You've posted in teenagers but he's still two years off that.

My DD was similar in y6 (Nov birthday so same age) and I was very hands on with her homework and SATs revision. She wouldn't have done any otherwise.

I was involved in her homework right through y7. Not sitting with her all the time but making sure it was done and to a reasonable standard. I started backing off and letting her face the consequences after Christmas of year 8.

She had a rocky couple of terms but pulled it together by year 9. She'd got a good reputation with the teachers by then so they gave her a fairly easy ride.

She's year 10 now and is on top of her homework independently. I would worry that letting him face the consequences so early in secondary school will just cement a bad reputation with the teachers and turn him off school.

I don't think I always pitched it right between encouraging independence and making sure work was done, but as long as you've backed off by GCSE age there's really no rush.

Rockpebblestone Sat 26-Nov-16 08:08:19

I agree with previous posters, at this age it is not totally unexpected to have to help and guide. You can do this in such a way there is progression, though.

For example, with the lack of reading through work, we had this with our's. It stopped when we explained that proof reading (done by us parents) and then having to proof read the supposedly corrected work and repeat was taking up much more time than DC just making sure their work made sense in the first place. We pointed out, very clearly, that all we should be picking is a couple of spelling mistakes / overly long sentences. Also that the work at school was of good standard so they could do it.

Ditto moaning and getting distracted. We explained that if work was done in a more focus see way, in solid bock of time, as opposed to taking lots of little breaks, then there would be much more free time afterwards. We easily could demonstrate this with past examples! DC got it. There were enough trips and activities, they wanted to have time for, they were effectively incentivised.

It took some time and somewhat heated discussions for our DC to appreciate this but things have really improved. We also have set a schedule where they do at least an hour's work on a week night. This helps with being able to do good things at weekends, just about every weekend, have their friends round, go out etc.

Rockpebblestone Sat 26-Nov-16 08:09:58

ha! The irony! Regarding proof reading! We are also ^bad at it!!!

glitterandtinsel Sat 26-Nov-16 11:07:29

Yes it's true. Disgusting isn't it. He'd started smelling which is why we have to check. It feels so wrong not to be able to trust him and have to check.

WingedSloath Sat 26-Nov-16 13:41:03

I am on this section as Ds1 is 13 but when he started secondary I tried to set him up to succeed.

Firstly, he has a daily list of things to do, with shower, breakfast, brush teeth, tidy room, make bed and open curtains being on there. That way he knows what is expected of him and I don't have to nag.

He has a pin board with Mon- Fri on it, every bit of homework he gets get written onto a pre cut piece of paper and pinned to the board on the day it is due in. That way he can see at a glance what needs doing first.

Also there was a ban on playing or tech until a particular time every day allowing time for a snack, to get changed and then do the homework.

The whole of year 7 I sat next to him and taught him how to make notes, changing sentences so that he wasn't just copying stuff. I checked his work, asked about specific lessons to find out what he was studying and if there was any way to extend that knowledge.

Now he is in year 9 and he is on his own, but doing incredibly well.

I feel that year 7 is a hell of a learning curve and they shouldn't just be left to get on with it if it is clear they aren't.

If all homework is done, then my children are allowed tech/computer games/YouTube etc. If homework wasn't done then they don't get to "play"

SafariSoGood Sat 26-Nov-16 17:26:42

DS 1 is also Yr7 August born. I totally agree with sitting with him when it's homework time. I read/make notes for work and he can ask questions or just talk over what he needs to do. It really helps.

I'm going to steal the homework week-to-view idea upthread and also the daily rountine/list.

Academically DS is doing well, but organising his time/music practice doesn't come naturally.

Re changing wifi password. We have a BT hub and switch off certain sites at certain times YouTube I hate you that is done via online account.

timeforabrewnow Sun 27-Nov-16 07:59:09

wingedsloath just note that some kids are not as compliant as that. I have had similar problems to the OP with my eldest DS - he is stubborn as a mule at times, and there is no way he would have complied with such a strict regime as that outlined in your post (respect to you for implementing that though!)

He is on the autistic spectrum though, and this makes it hard for him to get thoughts down onto paper - think essay writing = torture (his words).

Allovertheworld16 Sun 27-Nov-16 08:12:45

I agree you will have to help him, probably for the next couple of years.

My eldest dd is the same. She is dyspraxic. There is no point in saying tidy your room as she literally wouldn't know what to do. When I used to say make your bed, she couldn't work out how to straighten a duvet by pulling four corners.

All instructions have to be short clear and direct eg put your books on the shelf, put your socks in the laundry basket, put your make up in this tin. Often we have to do it together. It tests your patience I know but there is no other way.

Re the homework at the start of year 7 I resorted to her telling me what she wanted to write then she copied it. She wouldn't do a thing if she was on her own in her room. It has to be at the kitchen table with me at her side.

If there was a real battle over something I would leave it and let her face the consequences eg detention. It wasn't worth the stress.

I do find she is better at working on the pc if that is an option.

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