8 Yr old son soon to be 9 refuses to do his home work

angel_scottOctober 25, 2008

I am the (stepdad). it is a constant fight with DJ to do his homework. (LOL my parents faught with me also). I am quit sure this is not an uncommon ordeal. However, since I have no children of my own. I am not quit sure how to deal with these issues. Dj just flat out does not want to do his homework. The Drama is inredible!!!For exable DJ has been out of school because he ahs been sick. We went to the school to get his home work. sat down last night to get part of it done, and it ended up being a 5 hr ordeal. Tere are a lot of other issues that I am very awhere of that may very well be the problem.and at this time I am not going to disclose those issues. We just need some help and suggestions I got too angry last night and feel very bad about it. But what do you do when your 8 yr old just simply does not want to do homework. He nows the work and can do the work. even after explaination after explaination. he still acts out, and refuses to do the work. Any comments suggestions are greatful. thank you

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A few friends had this problem and they handled it in different ways.

Friend #1 - Hires a neighbor kid that is a great student and pays them to come over and help kids with their home work and school projects. She says it cuts down on all of the bickering she used to go through trying to get her kids to do their home work. She pays the same wage a babysitter would get. A high school student may do it for free to get community service hours that they need for high school resume' for college.

Friend #2. Another friend uses the game system and TV as reward. They can't do either until all homework is finished. Home work is done immediately after school. If they leave what they need at school and don't have materials, then all gaming and TV is grounded for two days. They stopped "forgetting" books etc. at school. You could also do another type of "reward" system. Buy a set of poker chips like they sell at the drug store. For each time homework is complete without hassle, he earns a chip. He can then trade them in on Saturday for a treat. Like a play date with a friend, or a piece of candy for a "treat box" or some one on one time with you throwing the football or riding a bike, etc. Think creatively about what he would like to earn. If he fusses, and makes it a big hassle, no chip that night. You can also use the red chip as an award for being really nice to a sibling, etc. or doing something without being asked that helps around the house.

Friend #3 hired a teacher to do homework with her kid after school. Teacher appreciated the extra money, and kids often behave much better for someone else.

Friend #4 For everything not done, chores where assigned. Hard chores like weeding the yard. Kids soon learned it was easier to just do the homework. Seemed kind of tough to me, but it did the job.

It seems that kids often don't put up the fuss with other people, as they do with their parents, and behave better.

Anyway, just some idea's to get you started.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 1:37PM
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I have this battle with my 9 yo daughter... every night the same thing... if you would stop wussing and just work at it, you'd be cone by now.... anyway... on the days I work when she' gets home, I do have a neighbor child here to babysit her (2 days/week) she does it for one with no problem and alternates between doing it and not for the other girl... go figure...

For me... I use a 'bribe' of sorts... for the past couple weeks it is... if you don't stopp whining and get it done, you will NOT go trick or treating.... now after Halloween, I'll need to come up with something else she 'wants' to hold out as to be taken away... possibly a movie she wants to go see, or a Christmas present she wants... you get the idea I'm sure...

Dad, on the other hand resorts to screaming with her and ends up in a contest of wills with her... and then I need togo step in on the nights he's suppposed to be taking his turn at this...

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 5:26PM
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I LOVE the poker chip idea. I am going to try that with my 10 year old. He whines so much about doing homework I want to cry LOL! I used to have him do it at the kitchen table as I was making dinner but it turned into him "needing" my help every few seconds. It got to the point where he would not even read directions without telling me he did not understand what to do!

So I went and bought a cheap desk for his room. Now he gets home from school and has a snack and then heads to his room to do homework. He has to do everything before I will check it. Works a lot better but many days he still attempts to come downstairs and whine or ask for help on things he could do on his own.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2008 at 10:10PM
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My 6 y/o whines about homework. I don't want it to get worse. So I also set a time limit. If the HW isn't done by the reasonable time limit (about 30 minutes for him), no reward for it. He's not gonna drag it out for a couple hours and still get the reward. (Yeah, 6, when the HW should take all of 15 minutes at most, and he drags it out.)

Which ever of these great ideas you take, I would also suggest you talk to his teacher at the next conference. One, it let's him know how seriously you're taking this. Two, she might have a suggestion that she has known to work with other kids. And three, it let's her know there is an issue and what you are doing to resolve it so she can be supportive of it. It sort of sends your son the message that this is a team: parents, teacher and child.

Stay calm and continue sending the message that this is non-negotiable. Homework is not a choice, you just have to do it. Nothing is going to get you out of it. Though some kids try longer than others, he will eventually get that resistance is futile. ;o)

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 10:52AM
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My 9 year old stepdaughter doesn't refuse to DO her homework, but she has been 'forgetting' it or has flat out lied to me & said she didn't have any, when she hid it in her desk. So, in that way... she's not doing her homework. When I asked her why she lied (and I think the forgetting was also a lie & that she just left it in her desk so she didn't have to do it), she told me she didn't want to do it. So, I told her that I don't want to do some of the fun things she enjoys (like baking, helping me with dinner or most recently, carving pumpkins) if she isn't going to do the things we want her to do. It has only been a week and she's been caught in a few lies already... again.

I personally think it works better to give it less attention or no attention and shrug your shoulders and say, "I guess you'd rather not watch tv with us, since you don't have your homework done." My husband used to spend half his evening frustrated beyond belief because SD would guess at the answers or write down the wrong answer that made absolutely no sense & DH would erase it, try to explain it & end up yelling at her out of frustration. One evening, he was running around, angry/frustrated looking for another eraser. He was all worked up and SD was calmly sitting on the edge of her bed, humming to herself. I grabbed DH aside & pointed out... if she isn't stressed out or upset over her work not being done, why are YOU? I walked into the room & told SD that daddy is NOT helping you with your work. When it's done correctly, the two of you can sit and play a game or watch TV until bedtime, but if you screw around until bedtime, you will take it back to school unfinished & I will call your teacher & tell her why it's not done. There were a couple of days that she took her homework back to school not done & I talked to the teacher. Her teacher said that it's explained in class & she should not need help, she should know what to do. She then lost her recess and did the work in class. After that, she would get it done correctly the first time.. sometimes with minor corrections, but she'd get it done & want to spend time with dad. While in counseling, she admitted she wasn't doing it right on purpose because it meant dad spent the majority of the evening focused just on her. She didn't seem to care that it was negative attention. He was too frazzled to realize what she was doing & after I pointed it out, he's better at recognizing it. Now, when she comes home and says she has no idea what to do, he knows she wasn't paying attention when the teacher was explaining it. She's had an ongoing problem with talking in class & not paying attention. It really helps to have good communication with the teacher.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 9:23PM
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You know to me it sounds like your stepson is ready for some "natural consequences" for his actions. I would simply tell him summer school or repeating the same grade is an option for him to be aware of if he continues to choose not to do his home work. I would let his teacher know and she can also reinforce the consequences for him.
It just doesn't pay to beg, because then you are putting responsibility for his actions on yourself, and truth is...they will be his consequences. Better learn that one early rather than late.
It certainly sounds like you have done the best you can, it's up to him now. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 12:09AM
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Stray cat said it all. He needs to take the consequences of his actions...or his NON actions.
And his home work is not your problem....and you shouldn't make it so.
Linda C

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 12:33AM
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While I agree that he needs to learn there are consequences for his actions, and you should step back and let him fail, you do need to be careful about letting him fail. You don't want him to accept the idea that he is a failure and have him give up completely. You have to be careful not to belittle him, or make him feel stupid or inadequate. At this age, kids internalize these messages very quickly, and they become self-fulfilling prophecies.

Why isn't his mother involved in this, you need to get out of the picture, you are his stepfather, this is a fight you can't win. A five hour harangue is cruel, no one deserves to be treated like that.

I think his mother may need to explore a little further - is something else going on - is his teacher treating him badly, is he being bullied by someone in his class or at school, does he understand what he's being taught, does he have a learning disability, etc?

If all is well have his mother get him a tutor. A few little successes may be enough of a reward to start to motivate him. You two need an objective third party to handle this, not only for his future, but to bring peace back into the home. Right now he has no safe place to retreat, no one is his advocate, and he needs that so much right now.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2008 at 11:31AM
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angel scott: Are you following your own post?

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 1:32PM
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Ditto the ditto on straycat. I used to go through this, and figured out, time limit and if it wasn't done, he had to turn it in "as is". He changed his tune quickly!

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 3:46PM
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