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Is this a reasonable threat? DS thinks not.

(14 Posts)
sunnydelight Tue 10-Jun-08 05:59:54

DS1 is very disorganised, and being dyslexic can't excuse everything! He has been doing pretty well recently, but over the past few weeks the "hasn't got book in class" notes in his journal have been increasing. He "lost" his English book and I nagged him to look for it, reminding him more than once, suggesting he check at school etc. When I told him to sort his bag last night I asked again if he had found the book and when he said no I told him that I would buy a replacement today and he would have to pay for it.

Anyway, I thought I'd better just double check. I went into his room, looked under the bed where there were two piles of school books and it was there in front of his nose. I was extremely pissed off because there is no way he could have not found it if he looked. I have told him that from now on if he comes home with a "hasn't got book" note that means a total screen ban for that evening. He says that it really unfair. My reasoning is: he only has 4 different subjects a day so how hard can it be to make sure you have the right books? He clearly needs something to focus his mind as there are no consequences at school other than a note in his journal which doesn't bother him. Am I being awful?

Lazylou Tue 10-Jun-08 06:07:12

I don't think this is unreasonable because like you say, four books to remember? Hardly a difficult job really, especially for a teenager.

I don't think it is too hard a consequence, nor do I think it is too soft, as it has obviously forced him to think about the situation to be able to label it as 'unfair'.

ScienceTeacher Tue 10-Jun-08 06:14:02

A screen ban is very reasonable.

Freckle Tue 10-Jun-08 06:36:55

I think the fact that ds thinks it's unfair means it's a jolly good threat!

scaryteacher Tue 10-Jun-08 07:24:51

I have a big wicker basket by the front door for all the exercise and text books to live in. That way we all know where they are and where they should be, and they haven't normally strayed too far. It seems to work for us. I make ds pack his bag before bed, so we can hunt for lost stuff and this seems to help as well.

I've been doing it this way for a year and he is gradually beginning to get organised, but frankly, he can find more interesting things to do, and trying to get through to him that you have to do the dull bits in life before you can do the fun stuff is falling on deaf ears.

I do sometimes wonder about sending him to boarding school, where he would have to be organised and motivated, and couldn't shout at anyone about the homework, he'd just have to get on with it.

mumblechum Tue 10-Jun-08 07:41:04

DS isn't allowed to take any of his school books into his room - there's some sort of singularity field there into which everything disappears.

Instead there's a cupboard in my office downstairs where he keeps all his books and does his h/w at the desk in there.

julienoshoes Tue 10-Jun-08 08:02:10

"DS1 is very disorganised, and being dyslexic can't excuse everything!"

No but one of the things about being dyslexic for some is very poor organisational skills.

I have been looking at this for some time-as all three of my children are dyslexic-and I come from a family with a very high incidence of the condition, it is interesting that what applies to one dyslexic may not apply to another. I am mildly dyslexic-but have discovered my children's strengths and weaknesses in this area are all different.

Dyslexics do have a problem with organisation and remembering things. Just because you don't -doesn't mean it is the same for him. One of my children finds this very difficult indeed.
The other thing I know from my now grown up son, is that being dyslexic in senior school can be very stressful indeed and home was a sanctuary if you like, a place where he could drop all of the stress of school and blank it out.
It may be that something like that is happening for your son.

What about, instead of punishing him for something he may be finding difficult, what about asking if you can help him problem solve his difficulty in remembering his books?
Scaryteacher has some good ideas.
For a long time we had to have some
antiperspirant wipes in the glove compartment of the car-because ds and dd1 found it so difficult to remember to add this to their morning wash ritual.
We also had two children at the same school-so I bought three spare ties to ensure that we could always find at least two in the morning!
We spent a long time teaching ds to check his pockets when he reached the front door, to make sure he has everything he needs. he is 21 now and I still see him doing it, checking for his wallet, inhalers and mobile phone.

I am still working to help our youngest -and most severely dyslexic child, find coping strategies which work for her.
I have found this works so much better than punishing them for something they already find difficult.

Flamesparrow Tue 10-Jun-08 08:15:03

Some people are just not organised.

Bans and punishments do nothing but make the child feel like crap for being useless and not able to do it.

I was (and still am) that child.

He could well have looked for those books and still not seen them.

I turned my computer desk upside down last Tues and Weds for my ipod. I couldn't see it. Dh walked over and found it instantly envy

Books staying in the same place all the time is a better system. Before bed each night check that the books are in the cupboard/basket whatever.

If he doesn't have the books, then he doesn't have them - the teachers will tell him off. Just leave it that he deals with the consequences.

Believe me - unless you are the person who is like this, you have no idea how crap he already feels about not being able to remember/find things, without added punishments reinforcing the uselessness.

sunnydelight Tue 10-Jun-08 10:26:47

I'm really not as unsympathetic to the dyslexia thing as I probably sounded julienoshoes, I guess I was just venting a bit because I have spent so much of my life trying to help two dyslexic boys deal with an education system that is crap for dyslexics that sometime I just feel like screaming "deal with it" blush Not reasonable/fair/productive I know but believe me I have spent many hours trying to help him devise coping strategies (some useful tips though everyone, thanks).

I was really hacked off this time because I thought he was taking the p and he has just admitted that he "didn't get round to looking for the book". I know that he already feels crap about himself lots of the time and don't want to add to it, but if I don't try and get him to take some responsibility at this stage I'm not sure when he ever will.

claricebeansmum Tue 10-Jun-08 10:30:47

I have two dyslexics - both quite scatty and disorganised but somehow I can tell when it is the dyslexia kicking in or the lazy beans.

Anyway dyslexia isn't really an excuse - your DC have to find ways to overcome their problems. Definitely keep all school books in one place and pack bags the night before - going through timetable, checking for notes from school etc

julienoshoes Tue 10-Jun-08 11:53:27

sunnydelight I totally symathise with the dealing with two dyslexics dealing with the schooling system
I gave that up in the end and started home educating them!

I don't think you are unsympathetic-just frustrated!
Was just trying to help see past the very real frustrations.

AMumInScotland Tue 10-Jun-08 12:03:49

When my DS started having lots of subjects, we set up 5 magazine boxes for him with Mon to Fri on them and the books he needed for each day stayed in the relevant box, so filling the bag for tomorrow was just a matter of grabbing all the books from the right box. And in the evening the books came out of the bag and went into the box for when they'd be needed next.

mummyflood Tue 10-Jun-08 12:45:47

Agree with other posters about maybe finding stragegies to help aid his memory, etc. in view of his dyslexia. My eldest DS is not dyslexic, but seems totally incapable of looking for and finding things on full view or under his nose end. At this age, I feel that they do need to realise the importance of self-organisation, whether or not they have an underlying reason and not just teenageitis, and if it was me I would perhaps be implementing the screen ban if he didnt/wouldn't take on board the strategies suggested? Has the school got any suggestions, what sanctions if any do they impose if this happens regularly?

xxMFxx

christywhisty Tue 10-Jun-08 21:12:42

I started a losing things thread on secondary board this week, as DS 12 keeps losing pe kit.

Agree with the others about keeping school books in one place and we always make sure ds sorts his book bag the night before. At DS's school 3 equipment demerits in a week means a detention.

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