difficult child 1 & the Catch 22

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TeDo, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    As most of you know, my kids do school online at home. difficult child 1 has a "child-specific para" in his IEP, which he desparately needs by the way. I am his para to keep him on task and help with comprehension. No problem since I am the only one "that knows how I think". This morning, he needed a math problem explained, no problem. He said "okay, I don't need your help anymore". After about 5 minutes of "working" he comes into the kitchen and says he's still hungry so he makes himself a can of chicken noodle soup and sits at the kitchen table to eat it and then goes back in the other room. After about 5 minutes I go in there to see how he's doing.....he's putting his Lego helicopter back together (5 or 6 pieces had come off). I told him it was time to get back to work and sit next to where he usually sits to work. He yelled "I don't need your help!!" and grabbed his work and went to another room. 10 minutes later he comes into my office and says he is going upstairs to take a shower. I asked how many more math problems he got done and he said "1 because I was thinking". I reminded him that he does NOT get ANY privileges until ALL school work is done and that if he isn't going to work when I am available to help him, he is TOTALLY on his own. He said, I know and went up to take the shower.

    Now here is how it will go later (based solely on past behavior.....like yesterday and the day before). He will start to work when I am busy running the errands I have put off until after "school hours". I will remind him that he is on his own and he will complain that he can't do it without my help and I will remind him that I told him he'd be on his own if he waited too long and he can't go play until it's done and that it was his choice to wait until now. He will remind me that he took a shower (personal hygiene) and then I wouldn't help him so it's my fault he can't go play because I won't help him. So I will sit down to help him (putting the errands off until tomorrow) but because he's so worked up, he is not comprehending ANYTHING which is frustrating him more so he'll yell at me again that "I can do this by myself!". Then I will leave and he'll come crying and apologizing and saying he needs my help. In the meantime, I'm not getting anything done, he's pushed beyond his limits, poor difficult child 2 has to listen to it all which makes him angry at difficult child 1, and, worst of all, it is creating a pattern that I somehow have to break.

    I CAN'T WIN!! and it is getting VERY old.
    Lasted edited by : Dec 1, 2011
  2. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    My kids aren't home schooled, but I can say that I have been there, done that with other things, usually homework. I've done what you do. Remind him that if he needs my help, he has to do the work now. Otherwise I have other things to do and he'll be on his own. If he does not do it, I leave him to his own devices. He's better about it now because he knows that I WILL leave him to deal with it on his own, and there are times when he really does need me to help him.
  3. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Yeah, I 'm with Bunny, I dont do the homeschool thing but I certainly have found myself stuck in ruts that are self reinforcing and create more problems until you find a way to break teh cycle.

    I am willing to brain storm,but of course it may be impossible to do some of these things because YOU HAVE TWO! lol. I dont know how that will work....

    1. spread your "help" availability times out .... you have two morning hours, two mid afternoon hours.....

    2. bathroom/shower time is limited to a specific time (not during your "office hours") regardless of the day, regardless of if his work is done and he needs you, just to keep things consistent, always the same times.

    3. stick to your guns.... missing a night of b-ball and having to do double work the next day??? well.... will he learn from that kind of logical consequence?

    4. what are the issues to his not being able to do it (even when he says he can and doesn't need your help?) is it all the way he processes, interprets and how you can explain it to him? Can you go thru the assignments ahead of time, write out the directions step by step before he starts the lesson? In your words... may work for SOME of the lessons.

    5. why does he think he can do it alone...is he really just avoiding the work? if so, what is driving that? just taht it is not fun, or is it just that it is what it is, work? Not much you can do if that is the case, lol.

    6. next idea from another cd member???

    I don't know, just trying to help, but certainly I get it that it is ALL easier said than done.

    How does he do his breaks when working by the way? do you have scheduled breaks? hmmmm.... maybe an Occupational Therapist (OT) can help with this. since he is on an IEP, may be a related service you can use, consulting from time to time. Just a thought.
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I have decided to set up a schedule kind of like they have in school that certain subjects are done at certain times. After the "day" is over, he's on his own. It may take some time but just might work.

    That is one of his calming things so that's why I don't want to do that just yet. Today, I think it was to avoid working. 99% of the time it's not.

    I have tried that before and then he felt so pressured to get it done that he melted down from the anxiety. That's when the "it's your fault because you wouldn't help me" comes in to play (said out of frustration and anxiety).

    Mostly it's the reading comprehension stuff (which is most of it for all subjects). I almost need every lesson on tape so he can do it himself. For Language Arts (English), I found the novel they're reading on tape. He used it today and he comprehended a LOT more. I just with it was available for all the subjects.

    He says that when he's mad at me. He just wants to "be away" from me so he says that out of frustration. That's why he usually comes "crawling" back later (after he's calmed down) and says he needs my help.

    That has been very "flexible". As part of the new schedule, I plan to allow an hour per lesson (they usually take 30-45 mins) and he gets a break until it's time to start the next subject. So far, I've let him take a break when he's needed one. I think I need to schedule them in and see how that goes.
  5. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I have been there done that. Very frustrating. If you can, I would get someone else to come be his para. Then, he will have to do it when they are there and will have more incentive to keep himself under control.

    I didn't have an online curriculum or a para, but our homeschooling went much better when I got a tutor to come do it with her. She had good reasons for wanting to procrastinate when it was just the two of us, but since the tutor was coming, she just had to go with it, no matter how she felt. Since you have the online program, maybe you could even get a high school student to keep him on task.
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I never managed to get the whole home schooling thing down but I was wondering...You said books on tape work well for him. Could you find out about getting all his text books on tape from the schools for the blind perhaps. There has to be a way. I know we had someone transcribe textbooks and notes to a CD or dvd for a functionally blind student when I was in college. We got paid to read the book onto the CD. Also most books and novels are available on tape now. If you can find out what textbook he is using you can look it up online and probably find it.