Totally lost my temper

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by JJJ, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I'm sitting here feeling both ticked off and a bit ashamed. Piglet is totally taking forever to do her school work. Yesterday, she took 6 hours to read a 2 page history handout and answer 10 questions. I kid you not SIX HOURS. Today, she took almost 3 hours to copy 10 sentences and look up 10 definitions and copy them. THREE HOURS to copy stuff - she didn't even need to use her brain. Then she had do choose one of 5 options (that have been taught at school, all of which she has done with teacher guidance at least once). This should have been an easy thing. She just brought me her "work" to check. She did part of each of 3 different options. So clearly flipping wrong. AND IT TOOK HER OVER AN HOUR TO DO IT WRONG AND NOT EVEN IN COMPLETE SENTENCES.

    I lost it. I threw the work at her, told her to quit acting like an idiot who couldn't remember how to spell her own name and fix it. She tried to defend herself by saying that I hadn't told her to do it the way her teacher wanted it. I nearly ripped her head off.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    She just came strolling down the stairs with her laundry like she didn't have a care in the world. OMG!!!!!

    She was suppose to be fixing the work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I now have her sitting in front of me. Again.

    This is going to be a long weekend.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Is she in middle school? I think something happens to their brains when they get into middle school. LOL! This sort of stuff starts and doesn't seem to end until sometime in high school. I think they call it "how much can I get Mom to believe" syndrome.
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member


    EXACTLY!!!! husband just told me to be nicer to her cause he feels she is trying and yelling at her is just going to cause her to tune me out. I pointed out to him that at the end of her long, drawn out homework sessions, we end up with A+ quality work. It is a combination of her inherent laziness and her desire to drive me nuts (so I give up and let her do the bare minimum to get by) that are the main factors. Her ADD is definitely a contributing factor but not really the main one right now.

    Right now, she had no social life. She goes to school, come home and works on homework, goes to practice, does more homework. Repeat. She got away with not doing homework until this afternoon because she would just convince husband that she either had no homework or that whatever garbage she scribbled down was good enough. I went out with my mom and sister for a nice day and I was not canceling my fun for her misbehavior. She didn't get to go anywhere but she didn't do anything either.

    She is going to spend another 30 minutes working tonight. Then, she is getting up early tomorrow and except for a 2 hour practice, she will be sitting and working. Monday, again all day work with a small break for family bbq. This is going to be a very long year if she doesn't get it in gear.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ok, I think I'd try pulling back a little and not engaging or letting her see a reaction to pushing your buttons. This might not work but shoot, she is old enough to start suffering her own consequences with grades and so forth if she doesn't do what she should. It sounds like she's dragging it out because right now she feels like she has nothing better to do than spread it out and push your buttons along the way. Turn this into a natural consequences issue, not your issue- you relax and do what you need/want. If it doesn't work, you can always go back to this method. But there's no sense in getting your blood pressure up for a kid in middle school over homework and grades- it's hard, I know, but looking back on it I wish I'd never entered the first battle with my difficult child over it. He was old enough and truthfully, in middle school (and even now) the biggest effect on his behavior were the natural consequences, not anything I said or did or rewarded or punished with.
  6. shellyd67

    shellyd67 Active Member

    JJJ, been there done that .... over and over again... it is flipping exhausting ... my difficult child starts back to school on tuesday and I am dreading it! Homework is a total nightmare. He had a summer packet given to him the last day of school in June and it is STILL NOT DONE ! He waits until the last minute for everything and then cries and says he needs help. He says he doesn't understand how to do his spelling words and put them in alphabetical order. He is an excellent speller and certainly knows how to put them in alpha order. He wants husband and I to do all his work for him. We will not. Never mind helping him but refuse to do his thinking for him. He breaks pencils, throws books, and freaks out almost every night of homework. It can be so darn hard dealing with all this I know first hand. Sorry for rambling but your topic totally made me drudge up what's ahead for me ! I wish you better days ahead !
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Klmno - I did try and let her suffer natural consequences last year. The problem is that our school district's standards are so low that her 'consequences' are Bs instead of As. The problem is she is not learning how to study, how to give 100% effort, how to take pride in everything she turns in, and the high school is going to look at grades (which are tougher to earn in jr high than they were last year in lower school). And the high school does their own testing of the kids to see where they are at for placement in freshman classes. If she can't learn the material and how to study, the high school is going to chew her up and spit her out.

    Shelly -- I hope your homework battles are better this year. Thankfully, Piglet doesn't get at all violent.
  8. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hugs, JJJ. I remember those days. I can't count the number of times I lost my temper with Miss KT and her homework. Junior high was basically another form of elementary as far as Miss KT was concerned...natural consequences didn't catch up to her until high school, when she had to repeat second semester Biology and take PE in Zero period, at 6:30 am. Football in the fog and cold, at o'dark thirty, was a great incentive to her to NEVER do that again.
  9. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Sadly, she will already be in zero hour and summer school in high school. With everything she wants to study, she doesn't have time to flunk anything. In fact she needs to ace junior high in order to be approved for zero hour as a freshman. The cost to us will be $1250 per year for zero hour/summer school fees. This is on top of the $500 in fees we will already be paying. So for 4 years of a FREE public education, it will cost us (when you add in upperclassman fees)...


    While our school does a great job building the self-esteem of nearly all of the children, it is not preparing her to go up against gifted or even very bright students. She is in for a very rude shock when she finally gets that there are kids out there that can blow her away academically without even trying. Her only hope of reaching her career goals is to learn to work hard. She thinks that she is going to get where she wants to go by doing 'good enough'. Considering that her 3-rd grade cousin reads at the same level as she does (and her 5th grade cousin reads books she doesn't want to 'cause they're too hard')....but she just does not get it.
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    This was exactly M from 3rd grade on. By the time he was 13 it was unbearable. In hindsight, I would have handled it differently. I would have joined forces with the school and explained that he was totally capable of doing the work and it was their choice whether they paid for a standard education for him and had regular consequences, or she can continue what she's doing, fail and repeat the grade next year. That's putting it mildly, but you know what I mean. If Piglet takes six hours to do the work, then doesn't do it right, this is the time to let her do it that way. She's in 7th grade or 8th, right? Let her be a stubborn little piglet and tell the teacher what's happening at home and that you're not going to make the 8 hours she's awake at home a misery for your family by fighting her for it. Make sure that they tell Piglet that she will be repeating the grade and not moving to high school with her classmates. I think she'll be more motivated by that than she would be by pushing your buttons.
  11. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I am not involved in difficult child 1's homework at all. When she was in 7th Grade, she didn't bother to do enough homework that she got a 77 on her report card. She thought this was good enough. She is capable of getting most, if not all, A+'s.

    Because it comes so easily to her, I have been concerned that she would not learn to work hard. We decided to offer a "bonus" for good grades. She only got paid if she got all A's. A single B meant no bonus, so she decided it would be worth it to do her homework.

    We adjust our expectations based on her classes. Last year, she did struggle and work hard on Gifted Geometry, so she got paid for a B but she had to get A+'s in everything else.

    If Piglet can get B's without you being involved, maybe some sort of bonus plan would work to motivate her to get higher grades. I was kind of opposed to paying for grades at first, but I realized husband sometimes gets a bonus at work for excellent performance. In the real world, sometimes people do get bonuses for working hard and going beyond "good enough".

    When we came up with the plan for my daughter in 7th grade, I was prepared to just let her get C's and go to whatever college would take her, thinking she would end up where she belonged, if our incentive plan didn't work. Since I'm not going to stand over her in college making her do her work, it won't do much good if she gets into a demanding college with grades that required me to do that.

    On another note, I used to have those homework struggles with difficult child 2. I thought she was spending so much time complaining about her HW and that she could get it done in a fraction of the time. Now that I homeschool her, I realize she really does have some learning problems that get in the way, including a very short working memory. If we hadn't had her tested, I would never have believed she could forget something so quickly. Has Piglet had any recent neuropsychologist testing to see if there is something like that going on?
  12. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    JJJ! Sounds like fuuuunnnn! Have you ever considered NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD)? It becomes a lot more apparent when kids start moving into upper elementary and middle school. Take a look at this website and see what you think. I'm having difficult child 1 and 3 tested for it (of course that'll be 8 weeks from now - ahhh the joys of going through what you're going through NOW!).

    It's not frequently diagnosed and I have to say, when I started researching it, most of the therapists (as well as some psychologists) that I talked to weren't even aware of it.

    Just a thought - they have suggestions on how to handle it on that site too.

    Enjoy what's left of the weekend!

  13. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Is there a homework help room at the school? Ours has one before and after school that any student can use. difficult child will use it just so that he doesn't have to bring books home which is super nice. I don't like him using the morning one unless there is something quick to finish (never know how long an assignment will take and that leads to procrastination).

    The whiteboard in the room lists all the assignments from each class of the day. Maybe work with the homework teacher and see if she can help get Piglet on the right track. The more work she can get done at school, the less struggles at home for everyone. Worth the effort to figure out how to get her home if she is actually doing homework. :)
  14. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I used to battle difficult child over homework for hours on end. Special projects were the WORST!!!

    And what did I get for all my time, effort and aggravation? difficult child would earn an A or a B, I would get a report from the teacher that she was SUCH a good student and all I got from difficult child was ATTITUDE.

    What I learned the hard way, was that all my time and effort spent in getting difficult child to do the homework was ALSO putting a "whitewash" on difficult child's issues. Me explaining the homework battles was useless....because everyone's response was "but she does such good work and gets such good grades...".

    If I had it to do over, I would let the teachers know difficult child's attitude in regards to putting in an effort on homework and special projects and then I would back off. I would let difficult child's work speak for itself. I would let the incomplete, sloppy projects stand. I would let others observe that maybe, difficult child really did have some sort of issue that needed addressing....

    As much as it stinks....I think you need to let her fall as she may. If there really is an underlying learning disability - this will expose it sooner rather than later.

    And if she is just being stubborn? Well....there's no reason to take it out on you. Let her learn the consequences on her own while she is still young enough to change for the better...
  15. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Well, I think I was too quick to discount the ADD effect. Here is what happened the last two days:

    8am: Took 20mg Metadate and ate breakfact
    8:30am-11:30am complete A quality work, at a good pace and needing only minimal corrections
    11:30am - begins to get confused
    by Noon she is totally lost and moving in slow motion
    3:00pm: Took 10mg Ritalin
    3:30pm-5:00pm back to A quality work, etc, etc
    by 5:30pm clueless and frustrating again

    While it has been a looooooong weeekend, I'm glad I was able to figure this out before her 504 meeting at school this week. It also explains her D on the test in reading (it was given at 1:30pm) when every other grade was a 100%.
  16. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Oh..I don't battle homework with difficult children. It started when the teachers kept sending home work that they hadn't taught to my difficult children with the expectation that I would do their job (and as Daisy said 'mask their issues'). I refused. But Piglet got so lost in our difficult child-home that it is amazing she is doing as well as she is. I'm so glad that we are now at a point where I can help her and work out her minor issues.
  17. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    The difference with medications/ no medications that you observed and documented is HUGE!

    I wonder if it would be possible to find something that lasts a bit longer? Those two-hour increments of quality work seem much too fleeting...
  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I feel for you. been there done that.
    Until we got the school breathing down difficult child's throat, we were helpless at home.
    Also, the fact that he's 13 helps a lot.
    It's a fine line between the carrot and the stick. All you can do is try different tactics, and see which works best. But sitting there making her do it for that long isn't working.
    On to Plan B.