Open Session

Becoming a better parent through open discussion of parenting issues

It’s After School Again September 22, 2011

Filed under: Children — aprilgrant @ 8:51 pm

Frustrated. Angry. Sad. Confused. Those are just a few words that express my feelings when my son comes home from school. I’d much rather be elated, joyful, happy, playful. The problem is homework. Well, not just homework, but the inevitable email from the teacher letting me know how uncooperative my son was that day.

You see, my son doesn’t have any illnesses or problems. He doesn’t have ADHD or autism. In general terms, this makes me very happy. Those moms are a powerhouse of strength dealing with everyday struggles. He doesn’t need glasses or misunderstand concepts.

My son is smart. I’m not saying he’s a genius or toting how bright he is, but he has so far completely understood all the materials put in front of him. The problem? He’s bored. His boredom causes him to act out in class. The further problem? Most of the time he doesn’t pay attention in class, disrupting other students.

There’s a behavior chart in class of about seven levels. The lowest three indicate poor classroom behavior, the fourth is ‘ok’ and the upper three are for above average. In the three week he’s been in school, he’s received one ‘ok’, all the rest below average.

At home, if his homework manages to make it here, we do it. If it doesn’t, we do make up materials. Somehow, leaving the house with the paperwork in his folder and in hi backpack, his work isn’t making it to the teacher. He’s regularly getting incompletes.

We’ve tried positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, daily reminders, punishments, rewards with consistency. It’s gotten to the point where the promise of a reward doesn’t even get to the end of the day. I rarely give the reward, not because I forgot or decided not to follow through, but because just getting an ‘ok’ and turning in his homework in the same day seem to be a challenge so far.

He already doesn’t play video games, watch tv or play or the computer. He doesn’t take his dance classes he enjoys. I have nothing left to take.

This may or may not seem like a problem, but this started last school year with a different teacher. If it continues, he can easily be stigmatized by the teachers as a problem child. I’m at a loss. If he would concentrate, most assignments take about 5 minutes. The teacher has more fun things to do, but he won’t finish his assignment to get to the ‘fun’ thing.

It just breaks my heart. I’m out of ideas. Please leave suggestions that you’ve tried and worked. It’s only the third week of second grade and with a baby on the way, I’m not sure I have much more patience.


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