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Parenting Bringing up the shorties so they aren't completely messed up

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Old 09-28-2005, 03:48 PM   #1
Fleur
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Homework wars are wearing me out.

My 15 year old son tries every way to get out of doing homework....anyway, it's down to if he doesn't do his homework, he gets soup for dinner......the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.....I guess and hope.

Me and my brother did our homework so what's the problem? I don't get it..we had to read things like "The Merchant of Venice" and "Tale of Two Cities and such....we didn't like it, not even Evangeline, but we made the best of it and just didn't fight it.....

Blah!!!!!

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Old 09-28-2005, 04:10 PM   #2
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Two words:

Good. Luck.

15 is, whew, a time of considerable turbulence. I think you're on the right track by connecting his actions to his consequences. That's the way life is. But being hungry isn't a natural consequence of not doing the homework, and can seem punitive.

We found success in rewards for success. The best reward is the satisfaction of a job well done, of knowledge gained. But we managed to find an acceptable substitute in internet access, game time, phone time, going out with friends time. A strict quid pro quo. The nice thing is that none of these rewards were necessary for their well being, unlike dinner, and missing them *did* hurt them.

The hardest part was to be steadfast in the application. We strove to not waver, not be drawn into an argument, just applying the rules, without emotion. We felt emotion, you betcha. But it was "If you want to play you have to pay". Not having the homework at home equalled no homework done equalled no play. Read a book. I hated to have reading a book the "punishment", but the other pastimes were all too much like play (computer, game, phone, play outside). Sorry. Your choice, your action, your consequences.
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Old 09-28-2005, 04:16 PM   #3
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Naturally, I'm no parenting expert, I only quack like one on the internet.

There can be other valid, hidden reasons that are obstacles to homework. Mere teenage belligerence and blossoming independence is not one of them. But poor vision was. Also unknown conflicts in the classroom with teachers and with other students. Shame at one's ignorace. Communication problems in the classroom (one deaf student). Medical problems (one child with epilepsy). And of course mixing these and others can make a very murky situation.

What does the son say? Have you asked why the homework doesn't get done? Is it "dumb"? Too hard? Don't understand? Don't care? Is it getting done at home and then stuffed in the backpack **forever**? Yes, that's a true story. His input is critical.
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Old 09-28-2005, 04:28 PM   #4
Fleur
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Thank you all!! I really don't use negative reinforcement unless I have to. Positive has never, ever worked. We can take away any games videos, or whatever, that doesn't make him budge.

He thinks he should get paid for doing homework, honestly!!!! He says he feels like a slave in that he is working for no pay and that's how he has felt since he was a little kid. He is very smart and cunning. I have to communicate with teachers via E mail because he tries to blow off stuff and he is such a smart kid that if he would just do the darn stuff, it wouldn't take as long as it does to throw a fit about it!!!!!!
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Old 09-28-2005, 05:07 PM   #5
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Is this a continuing pattern from the past? Or did he used to do his homework in earlier grades but is not now?

Edit: I just read your reply. After the shit day I had at work I'd be HAPPY to do a page of algebra problems or write 500 words on the causes of the Pelloponesian War!!
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Old 09-28-2005, 05:55 PM   #6
Fleur
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveDallas
Is this a continuing pattern from the past? Or did he used to do his homework in earlier grades but is not now?

Edit: I just read your reply. After the shit day I had at work I'd be HAPPY to do a page of algebra problems or write 500 words on the causes of the Pelloponesian War!!

Damn straight......I keep telling him...you will never have it so good....work is shit and sometimes being a parent takes a special kind of bravery!!!!!

P.S. This has been going on since he was 6 years old!!!!

I am not kidding; in 2nd grade he called the principal a moron and asked him if he knew about Einstein E = Mc2, like he did.....and he did understand it, I think, then....he went on a recycling binge a couple of years later.....which was a positive, to try to get the school to stop using styrofoam for everything......(ahem) he is very environmentally overwrought....


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Old 09-28-2005, 07:03 PM   #7
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Fleur, I failed to properly welcome you to the cellar.

Welcome to the cellar, Fleur.
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Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. -- Marcus Aurelius, philosopher and writer (121-180)

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Old 09-28-2005, 07:12 PM   #8
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Now that that's behind us, I had another thought this afternoon about your common situation.

Why not pay him?

I personally disagree with the proposition that I as a parent should pay for chores, homework, etc. Behavior that is expected or required isn't free, but I don't feel like paying money for it. But.

You may feel differently about the whole idea. I have known parents that used cash as an incentive for grades. I think the key point for me would be to pay for performance, that is, grades, and not just clockin' time grindin' out the homework. If he's so smart, (I say tongue in cheek), and you're open to the idea, start a conversation with him about it. Maybe you don't have to pay in dollars, or maybe he could earn cash but have to pay cash for something else he used to get "free".

What is he expecting? Apparently he's already raised the subject with you. Perhaps he's already given you the answer you're searching for. If the price was right, (strictly a negotiation, all the way), I might be inclined to get what I really REALLY wanted (good homework habits) by doing something I didn't really like so much (like paying cash).

Dunno. I'd really want to get his read on it. Is it all subjects? What does he like to do that can be perverted into an academic exercise? See. Just more questions. Sorry.
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Old 09-28-2005, 07:34 PM   #9
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One way or another the solution is to convince him it's in his interest, that he will gain something out of it. And that's damned hard at this age... especially since it sounds like the habit is ingrained.

Have you taken him on any college visits? Perhaps the idea that lower grades will limit his college choice may help. Of course it could have the opposite effect and get him psyched up for a party school where the classes will be easy.
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Old 09-28-2005, 08:00 PM   #10
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Or beat the smartass senseless.
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Old 09-28-2005, 09:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigV
I have known parents that used cash as an incentive for grades. I think the key point for me would be to pay for performance, that is, grades, and not just clockin' time grindin' out the homework. If he's so smart, (I say tongue in cheek), and you're open to the idea, start a conversation with him about it. Maybe you don't have to pay in dollars, or maybe he could earn cash but have to pay cash for something else he used to get "free".
That's totally the angle I would use--if he wants to get paid for doing homework, he has to also pay you for cooking him dinner and cleaning the house and maybe even pay rent on his room. Being an adult means being an adult.
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Old 09-28-2005, 10:20 PM   #12
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One of my buddies is in a kind of advanced stage of that.. Except he has kind of a catch on his situation. He went to school for a year, commuted from his parents' home. Then the next year, his dad told him pay me rent or get the f out of my house because he wasn't doing great in school. The catch being, uh oh, I only have money for either school, or rent to my parents. He chose the latter so he wouldn't have to do his homework under an overpass. But now he has to take time off school for who knows how long, to work full time at Wendy's and save up enough to go back to school.

Moral of that being be careful how far you take the whole pay us rent thing. It could end up hindering your kid's schooling instead of helping.
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Last edited by Bullitt; 09-28-2005 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 09-28-2005, 11:22 PM   #13
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V's idea is good and may be the way to go. I think, though that your boy is old enough to learn more about what he's headed into. Show him what various types of job pay and what it costs to rent or buy a home etc. It's his future he'll be throwing away if he doesn't do the homework.

One other thought. It sounds like he might be sharp. Are you sure the homework he has to do is challenging him?
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Old 09-29-2005, 12:20 AM   #14
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I would make him read some books about successfull stories ( i just finished DESERT FLOWER and i was like, wow!! I am so lucky!) and i was inspired to com eto work and do better. Maybe take him to some insirational and motivational talks ect. i know its corny but they work for me.. Get him Motivated!! and let him know how damn good he has it! Let him know how lucky he is to even HAVE homework.

failing that i would slap him with a ruler once every 10 mins of homework time that he doesnt do homework.
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Old 09-29-2005, 01:56 AM   #15
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Perhaps he's protesting meaningless and degrading busywork that is often foisted upon students. School is very prison like in my view. It's the only place outside of prison you have to ask to go to the bathroom. Also many classes lump everybody together (can't discriminate based on intelligence) so your son could be stuck doing the same stuff even if he knows it well.
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