Leave it to a difficult child to understand...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    another difficult child's problems.

    I was absolutely furious and frustrated beyond belief with difficult child 1 tonight over school issues.

    He lies about homework being finished. (Or he forgets that he hasn't completed it and just assumes it's done and says it's done, or whatever).

    He doesn't ask for help when he doesn't understand an assignment in class. He just doesn't do the assignment.

    He hasn't been getting his teacher signatures in his planner to ensure that he's got all his assignments written down.

    The consequence of his lack of attention and initiative now has him earning two F's and a D+ in three of his four core classes.

    I don't know why, maybe it's my own dysfunctional upbringing, but my instinct with him is to bring the hammer down hard when I am faced with opposition, nasty attitude, disrespect and deceit. At mid-quarter, because of poor grades, difficult child 1 lost of all computer/video game and cell phone privileges until the grades are back up to C level. I thought it was fair. But in hindsight, for a kid who has no social life, who suffers from anxiety and possibly depression, has ADHD and a chronic illness (albeit in fairly good remission), and whose only real interest is in these games, the punishment may have been too severe.

    After difficult child 1 and I exchanged very heated foul-mouthed volleys, and difficult child 1 started making self-harm comments (which I hear more as sign of frustration and defeat than actual suicidal ideation), difficult child 2, true to form as the "middle child" and peace keeper, stepped in and offered his idea for a solution. It was essentially the Do-To-Get program many of you here use. difficult child 1 would get to have his game time restored, but it is directly linked to his obtaining teacher signatures in his planner and completing the day's assignments. Do to Get.

    So I have been humbled. By a 12yo no less. And after I calmed down, I went into difficult child 1's room and sat with him to help him finish his history homework. He seems to be feeling more upbeat and hopeful knowing that he has a chance of enjoying his favorite activity again soon. And I know that it's difficult child 2's carrot (versus my stick) that deserves credit.
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    You have taught difficult child 2 well the lesson you forgot in that moment. Good for him to figure out a way to remind you!
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    LOL!! Well, I think you did well- and it probably has a lot more to do with the kids being close in age and understanding each other from that respect. I think you did great because you were willing to "problem solve" and keep the objective in mind instead of swing a rod for the sake of proving authority- that's the difference in the dysfunctional family, I think. So don't be too hard on yourself. The issues you are describing could have come straight from my living room! A boy this age wanting to avoid homework, having a little depression or at least lack of motivation, but being manageable on some kind of difficult child level. Yep- sounds typical to me!!
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with Andy-you have done a good job that difficult child 2 would come up with this. Very easy for us to forget things in the heat of the moment!
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thank you :) At least one of my kids pays attention to me, even if I don't listen to my self!

    I emailed one of difficult child 1's teachers today to find out if he'd come by to talk about some missing assignments. I explained about his anxiety, his ADHD, his feeling overwhelmed by disruptive kids in the class, the tears, etc.

    She was very kind and very understanding. He will be able to work on the assignments over the break and we can email them to her since she may not be back right away due to jury duty.

    I'm really going to have to make sure that his class placement for highschool next year is carefully considered with regard to class size, homework level, etc. And I'm going to go forward with a neuropsychologist evaluation so that we can add a bit more weight to the accommodations in his 504, or maybe even see if he can qualify for an IEP.
  6. Jena

    Jena New Member

    That really is cool, that he jumped in and offered a solution, and even more so that you were open to it and will be implementing it.

    I agree with Andy as well. That was a good story to share with-us, thanks.

    Im glad that the teacher was willing to work with you as well. That's a good idea with the high school placement thing, also getting the neuro psychiatric to add more to it and hopefully obtain the iep for him. Sheesh hearing you say that made me think of the middle school transition that we'll have coming up. scary.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Very good!!! That is so neat.
    Boy, did that look familiar, reading your note ... the papers not turned in, unfinished work, not getting the teacher's signature.
    These kids have no idea how much we sweat it out over their school issues.