Not sure I can do this - please help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by happymomof2, Dec 10, 2007.

  1. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    Day 14 of homeschooling. Dropped off and picked up work for my son at school this morning. I brought it home and he is now having a meltdown and I am close myself.

    "This is stupid, I want to go back to school, I hate this", all the while throwing his pencil at the wall and getting mad because I made him turn his stereo down.

    I am close to tears at this point. Why the he** can't he understand I am doing all this to help him not get in more trouble. I don't want him to see me get upset. I really wish right now I had a punching bag. I am angry with him, he is not appreciating anything I am trying to do for him.

    What can I do - someone please help me.

  2. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I gotta tell you - you can't make anyone appreciate what you do for them - especially not a teenage difficult child! Appreciation comes when folks can truly understand/relate to what you have done/are doing. Your son has no understanding of the sacrifice and the work involved.

    Obviously he misses his friends and getting out of the house.

    Perhpas instead of sitting down and doing a lesson today, there is a cool experiment or a project you could give him to do that relates to the lesson plan.

    I totally agree with you about letting him see that you are frustrated and/or angry. Give yourself a timeout to walk outside or go in your room!

    What you are doing is very challenging. Sorry that he is fighting you at every turn.

  3. isisdrms

    isisdrms New Member


    I know how frustrating it is for both you and your difficult child. difficult child is presently not able to attend school since Thanksgiving until January. Let me tell you...I am not a teacher and difficult child surely lets me know! We do have homebound services come to the house but it's for only 4 hours a week...yeah like that's enough! Anyway, getting difficult child to do his homework is tough but we have consequences...if he fails a class, he's grounded from everything for 3 weeks until the grade comes back up. No TV, or games until he gets at least one assignment done a day, then he can take a break.

    For difficult child, it is missing all the social aspects of school that gets him so frustrated. How about maybe an incentive of seeing a friend if your difficult child gets his work done? Or something similar?

  4. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    I agree with LDM...unfortunately, we can't make them appreciate anything. You are going above and beyond by taking this on, and then to have him treat you like this on top...not acceptable. Maybe, then, he needs to learn natural consequences? What options are there other than homeschooling and the virtual classroom?

    You have to take care of yourself first because no one else is going to! If you don't, at the very least, get a break from your difficult child, well I know I wouldn't get through the day. I have tried for years to protect my son...not let him be with the bad kids, make sure he does homework, drive him to school if he misses the bus, etc. but it turns out I really didn't do him any favors. I wanted to control everything so that he didn't feel the effects of natural consequences. Slowly I've learned if he doesn't experience them now, he will later for sure. So, I've decided that now, when he's under 18 and still under my roof is preferable to later in the real world.

    So sorry this isn't turning out as you had hoped. Just follow your instincts, you'll know if you can continue this or not.
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Do you think you've taken on more than you can handle?

    Are you trying to look at the big picture without getting the little pictures in focus first?

    You have too much together time. (Seriously)

    Ask the school district's psychologist or Special Education. director for a meeting and tell them you need help. Maybe they can offer a teacher to come to the house part time. Or maybe you can post a help wanted ad with a local college asking for a teachers aid that is versed in sped?

    Sorry for your ugly day.

    As far as a punching bag - GOOD Christmas present to give you both. My difficult child said he would have benefited from one.

  6. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

    Teens do not appreciate anything, so just forget that idea right away.

    What you need is him to do his work. What have you tried in the 2 weeks? Has anything worked? Does he have a schedule for the workload? A specific time frame during the day for certain work?
  7. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    Thank you all so much for all your replies. I did sit down and talk to him and told him I would break it down to a daily schedule. I think he freaked when I brought it in and he was overwhelmed.

    I did that last time they sent work home. Why didn't I think to do that before I handed it to him today. :hammer:

    I also took 1/2 a xanax - that helped! :rofl:

    It was a great suggestion to tell him if he got his work done I would take him to a friends house, but right now we are strapped for money and I need to save all the gas I can. The closest friend I would allow him to hang with right now lives about 30 minutes away.

    So I went the other way. He was still refusing to do his work so I said in a very calm voice. Okay let me have all your work and he did. I put in back in the envelope and said that's fine you don't have to do it. Your not allowed outside today if it isn't done. He promptly got it back out and finished todays stuff.

    Will see what tomorrow brings! Wish us luck.

  8. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member

  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Working at home is different to working at school. For a start, you don't have a teacher talking at you. You don't have other kids whispering and distracting you. You don't have to stop when the teacher says to.

    But it is harder because getting started is sometimes tricky. You are in your home space, where you normally play rather than work. You may need to put him somewhere unusual to work - a local park, perhaps; your room maybe.

    You need to sell it and also make it easier for him to get focussed.

    Here are some tricks that worked for us - adapt or use what you want.

    1) School work during school hours.
    This means no gaming during school hours (not even at lunchtime) because it distracts the mind from the task.

    2) No homework needed - it all gets done during the school hours. THIS IS THE BONUS.
    But to claim the bonus, the work does need to be done.

    3) Whatever is needed to help him concentrate, as long as it is not a distraction, let him have it. If he wants to listen to music while he works on his notes - let him. If he feels he has to have it deafeningly loud, use headphones. BUT - make HIM monitor his output and if it drops lower than his performance without music, then discuss this with him.

    4) Shove food at him as long as he can keep working while eating. I do this because difficult child 3 doesn't eat enough. It's amazing how fast a big bowl of popcorn can disappear when he's concentrating on his work.

    5) If he's having trouble getting started, use educational resources other than paperwork to get him started. Try to make it relevant to his current topics. For example, this morning difficult child 3 watched the first episode of "The Human Body" from the BBC (Robert Winston). It fits in with his current science work but he also ate his (late) breakfast while watching. He usually does some maths online in the half hour before schoolwork starts, although he's often late getting to it. I use that as the 'front door' into starting the day.

    All this is negotiated with him.

    The aim is to get educated. We will try and do this the best way we know how, everybody learns a different way.

    The other "magic" thing you can point out to him - doing schoolwork at home seems to us to be more efficient and faster. This means that sometimes, all work is complete before the end of school hours. We try to fill this up with educational stuff but look for fun and interesting stuff - good documentaries (which you can borrow from libraries or friends). Private projects that HE wants to do (let his suggest something). Cooking, sewing, washing - these are educational also. Again, let HIM choose what to cook, what to sew.

    Then when school is out and his friends are coming home )often with homework to do - and he has none!) he is free to walk to a friend's house, or go ride his bike.

    Or take him grocery shopping with you. That is an education in itself.

    This can work, but do try to not lecture him too much. You do not have to be his teacher. Just his supervisor and assistant. Be there to help him find answers. If he's not making progress, ask him if you can work with him to find the answer. Encourage him to ask for help. The aim is for him to LEARN, not to already know.

    Good luck.

    This DOES work, it just takes a different mind-set.