Can someone explain this to me?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by livinlife, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. livinlife

    livinlife New Member

    My son has Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) anxiety disorder and opdd. He has terrible tantrums/meltdowns at home but not at school. (he is 10 years old)He gets home and it usually starts the moment he gets off the bus.

    Last night my son did not do his homework. I sat down asked him to do his homework and we of course had a meltdown. I tried to get his homework down with him and he just wouldn't do it. So today the teacher emailed me that she was very disappointed that my son did not do his homework. She said we talked about you being consistent and then said I thought we were on the same page.

    I feel like I am very consistent with him but I can only do so much! We fight every night to get his homework done and 9 times out of 10 we do get it done. Last night I didn't have it in me to do a 2 hour fight over homework. Why should I have to? This is getting old.

    The thing that I find so funny is my son does not have meltdowns at school only at home....does anyone know why this is?

    Am I being a terrible Mother when he does not get his homework done? Why and I being yelled at when it is not my homework? Why does this make me someone that is not consistent with their child? What would you do? I read the email and have not responded yet..not sure if I should
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2008
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Ugh big time! Why can not teachers understand that you can not MAKE someone do their homework? I have had struggles at times also but if the kid absolutely refuses, you just can not make it happen.

    The only thing you can do is try some strategies to get it done before the signs of meltdown (yes, you do know way ahead of time if your difficult child is not in the homework mode that night).

    Is there an option of you picking him up from school? A few times, my difficult child was willing to do his homework at school after school.

    Talk to the teacher and ask if there is time during school that he may not be utilizing well to do the work. She can work with him on those times to get it done. That would put it back into her lap. Ask if other kids have the same homework load - are they getting the work done during school?

    I know of one friend who has it in her son's IEP that he is not to have homework. I don't know how that works - maybe someone will come on to help in this area.

    Last year when my difficult child was having anxiety issues, his teachers asked if reducing his math homework would help. We noticed that he started out doing very well and almost all wrong answers were at the end of the assignment. The teacher said she could see he understood the concept but lost focus at the middle of the assignment.

    I am so glad you came out of lurkness! I hope (and am sure) some one here can give you more advise then I have been able to.
  3. ML

    ML Guest

    You are not a terrible mother at all! Manster has the same issues. The only thing that works is for me to withhold puter time, he loves WOW so he knows he has to do homework to get to play. You just have to have leverage!

    Don't think it's just you!


  4. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    OMG I remember those days!! 2 hours of screaming and tantrums to do 5 min worth of homework.........I don't know exactly what happened but we don't struggle anymore. I believe it might be the IEP that limits the amount of work she can bring home. Then again, she struggled everywhere, not just at home so the school saw what I was seeing.

    shame on that teacher to think it's all your fault. Does she know how hard you struggle each night?
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Boy, does THAT sound familiar!
    We finally discovered that my son did not want to do his homework for several reasons.
    1) He would rather play
    2) He'd left it at school and didn't want to admit it
    3) Didn't understand it and didn't want to admit it
    4) Didn't understand it and didn't want to do the work to understand it
    5) Didn't understand it and didn't understand our explanations because they weren't the same as the teacher's explanations
    6) Believed that once he walked out of the school bldg, he no longer had any responsibility toward the school.

    I'm sure I could think of more, but you get the idea.

    I would have a mtng with-the teacher (sounds like you're dancing on the edge of a cliff with-your personalities ...) and tell her that you are a team, working to help your son. Tell her that he has total meltdowns at home and that he has anxiety issues (it sounds like he has a diagnosis, so you can honestly tell her it's a dr's diagnosis, and she should be able to accept that). Suggest that she or you get an older student volunteer to help him after school with-his homework.
    I know with-my son, he does much better inside the school bldg. Once he's out, that's it. He's finished and it's like he's a lightswitch.
    Most older students need volunteer hrs so you should be able to find one who can help.
    See if the teacher has after-school tutoring hrs. Ours does and it really helps.
    It also helps if other students are tutored. It's like a mini-class and the fact that other students are there is a great support system.

    I hope that helps!
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    The others have already given great advice. I just wanted to add that apparently, most boys (even easy child's) go through the "hating and refusing homework" phase around this age. At least, that's what they tell me in IEP meetings. Anyway, like everything, the typical phases turn into nightmares with difficult child's, so quit blaming yourself.

    Having the school reduce homework load at times, provide more opportunity to complete homework at school, and me reinforcing the positive (giving a WHOLE LOT of praise for any homework completed at home) and reducing negative attention to it helped my son, and helps me survive it.

    I hear it typically lasts from about 10yo to about 14 yo. Good luck!!
  7. lizzie09

    lizzie09 lizzie

    My friends difficult child daughter never has melltdowns at school and we think its because she doesnt want to lose face there. At home she can go wild.
    I never could understand this as my son would have them in school and be ok at home. Home was his comfort zone.

    Friends difficult child would have a fit if she had a complaint note sent home!!
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Does he have an IEP? IF so, maybe it is time to call another IEP meeting and have it said that all work is to be done at school - no homework. If he doens't have an IEP, hop over to the Special Education forum and htey can get you started with that - it really can help both you AND your child.

    TEll the teacher that you are willing to work with her but you are NOT willing to be spoken to like that. Encourage her to be more professional and less accusatory in her communications with you. Also tell her that your child is having major melt-downs over homework.

    It may not be worth it to do the homework fight. School can hand out whatever consequences they feel is appropriate for not doing homework. Your child may just have to take the natural consequences of not doing the homework. I am one of the moms who decided that I would no longer fight over homework. Period. They could take whatever consequences school dished out, but our home was NOT going to be a battlefield. It actually helped my child, as he was more able to recharge at home, so school wasn't as stressful.

    It is pretty common for our kids to hold it together very tightly at school so they don't have meltdowns. Then they come home and just can't hold it all in anymore and fall apart all over us. This is one reason I stopped pushing homework. Your child is probably very anxious, and if he is not having problems understanding the work, then it may help him AND the rest of the family if you are not fighting the homework battle.
  9. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Livinlife, the others have already given you great advice.
    Just wanted to say that you're definitely not alone in this.

    During my difficult child's last year of mainstream school, his IEP said that all schoolwork had to be done during school time. Homework was just too much of a struggle and meant that I had a raging, flailing, out-of-control teen on my hands at home, as well as my then 3-year-old cowering because big brother was losing it again.

    If the teacher never sees the meltdown side of your difficult child, then she probably doesn't have the faintest clue what you're talking about.

    The Special Education forum has some great information about getting an IEP in place, managing the process, running the meetings etc. Might be worth a look.

  10. livinlife

    livinlife New Member

    Thank you all so much!!! Your ideas are great. I think it is time to call another iep meeting even though we just had one at the beginning of the year. But I will try. THank you all again. What a great place.