Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Parenting is a BIG challenge

... for me that is.

I am not sure where I have gone wrong. The hard approach doesnt work, and the soft approach is even worse!!

My son doesnt take his school work seriously, and he is already in P5. He is capable BUT lazy. IF he wants, he can do it. But he doesnt seem to want to do well. He thinks all the work the teachers give him is a waste of time. So if he can get away with it - he wont do it. Grades, I guess are NOT important to him.

And the worst nightmare for a Mum is when the teachers call to complain that your child has not been doing his work.

I really dont know what to do. Withdrawal of privileges dont work. Coporal punishment is something which I used to give him - but I know he totally resents it, and I think as they get older, I shouldnt be doling it out. The after effects of it - is that he will go to his room and sulk, and throw things about, or mess up the things in his cupboard. I know it shows Resentment. As a result, I am not using the cane, tho I threaten to.

I am at WITS end!

He is NOT a Bad or naughty boy. He is generally a lovable and well-liked boy who just cant see the importance of doing his homework!!

Does sparing the rod mean spoiling the child? or am I doing him a BIG disfavour by not giving him the cane BIG TIME??

This is really stressing me out!! HELP!!

Any ideas on what I can or should do?


Stardust said...

Huuuh... Sayang.

I dunno what to say, but I pray for the wisdom you need.

doc said...

i don't know of any family who doesn't have a problem like your yours.

my son in P2 is just like that. an angel at heart but a true rebel when it comes to school work. the rod that we are admonished not to spare doesn't necessarily have to be the cane. it's what that hurts the child, & in mine, it's the TV. he has to have his daily dose of Ben 10, & this is where the negotiation starts - no homework, no TV. plain & simple, & so far, he's been very compliant. when he reaches another phase of life, it will be a different bargaining chip, but we hope he would also mature with time to realise the importance of self-discipline.

it may work with yours only if you know what "hurts" him most - the TV, PC, PS2 or something else.

all children have their achilles heel & i wish you all the best looking for it & using it to the advantage of ALL concerned.

whoever who said parenting is easy is lying thru the teeth!!!

iml said...

It's frustrating when mother cannot understand a child's sudden change in behaviour/action. Maybe it's a good time to spend more time having small talk with him to find out.

bp said...

Doc said it well, n i can't agree more with u on how challenging parenting is, n it just seems to get harder as kids grow with more n more of a mind of their own, u know how it is! what i'm learning, we can't really "make" them do something if they don't want to.

but i do know how frustrating this homework challenge is, my big boy has been like this since when homework began to matter (n i still tear my hair out over how blase he can be about homework n tests), n now i see it in the younger boy, too (not good, help!). maybe i haven't found that one thing that matters most to them, but i totally understand what u mean that removal of privileges doesn't really work, maybe it will for the first time, n after that the kiddo will just say, it's OK, i'll pass (on that fave thing).

just sharing my 2 cts with u... here's what i'm trying with my older one: talk to him, ask him how he wants to handle his homework. what's his style. does he prefer to finish everything at one go, or break it up with little breaks in between to work on over a longer time? this, even when a simple piece of work can be easily finished in 10-15 min, n i tell u it drives me nuts when he wants to drag it out to do over A FEW HOURS. i'm a type A, i rather get done n over with something n do it well. but if that's one way that may work or encourage him to get cracking, it's worth trying. doesn't work always, n 'coz he can be really laidback/"bo-chab", i hound him like crazy even tho' he should be more independent by now. some better days sees him a bit more serious, n a bit of progress is better than none, yes?! i also let him tell me if he likes me to sit there with him, or be left alone to work, even tho' it's not always possible, got dinner to cook n other two kids to "entertain" n daddy is at work late.

but don't stop trying, u keep going now, you're a great mommy SAHM, n i pray with u for God's wisdom for us on this. we try our best, n leave Him to take care of the rest. as Doc said, hopefully n prayerfully with time n as the children mature, the self-discipline will kick in.

what was it like with S at N's age? i don't know if it cd be a more boy thing that boys just like to play more, study less. as a girl myself, i was pretty good, ahem, n will sit down to my own homework n took it seriously without anyone having to hound me. but maybe u cd also try some of the ways that worked for S with N? tho what worked for one may not for another, guess that's the way God made us... each child different, unique, yah!

hope this helps a little.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Lady, I guess boys and girls early teens go thru a certain phase in life, rebel without a cause, so to speak.
I am not familiar with your school grading, ie, P5, what class or age?

Anyway, I am sure he will get out of it soon....maybe he has problems...have a chat with him.
Or ask him what he wants to do when he grows up?
Use reverse psychology, it works sometimes.

My 2nd day of school, I ran away, age 7. Was brought back to school in a police van, sure caused a panic in school when I 'disappeared'.

And my mother, I believe holds the all time record for receiving the most letters from teachers, and all the letters to put it simply, was, 'Your son has no hope, no future".

As well of my being suspected of bringing snakes, leeches to school, iguanas too and frightening students and teachers...(did a posting on this few days back)

And apart from English where I always scored above 95%, my Maths was always scraping the Equator. Other subjects was touch and go, also near the baseline.

My mom always thought I was doing my homework...actually I was writing lines, 1000 lines of, "I must remember to do my homework".
Or, "I must come to school early".
I sure improved my handwriting.

But slowly I grew up...not to mention my Mom made the shop owner selling jossticks retire early, ha ha.

And Lady, at age 27 I owned a Mercedes, an Alfa Romeo and an MGB sports car, by 35 I was flying in a Corporate Jet wheeling and dealing business deals all over SEA....
Yes, I was the boy everyone gave up hope...and like you, my mom never did.
She knew, her only son will one day grow up, exceed her expectations. I did.

So Lady, try not to worry too much, he will grow out of and I...we were young once.
Best regards, you keep a song in your heart, Lee.

ps, I did further studies in England, and my moms prayers worked. I got thru with flying colours. I had grown up.

TripleJin said...

I wish I have the ultimate answer for u. But I'm looking for clues here too. Perhaps take him out on a 'date' one day, share with him your frustrations, over a milkshake/teh tarik/burger/whatever, about being a parent. Then share with him, abt ur frustrations when u were a girl at his age.. see how it goes? Keep on sharing.

Then again, he might just say/think you're just nagging him. Again.

I don't know. Pray that God will shine his light in your son, and tell him, that life is not a bed of roses.

stay-at-home mum said...

A BIG thank you for all the Pearls of wisdom.

Looks like I may have to depend on divine intervention and my patience to get thru this.

bp - what worked for S doesnt work for N. They are SO different!!

Stardust said...

Still stressed? Hope that things are working out...

Sorry if it's a bad time, come collect and award if possible. Ciao.

JoMel said...

oh dear.. dejavu!! *big hugs*

Well, for Dan, who is now in Sec 1, I faced similar problems, when he was in Pr.4 and 5. I did all that you've done, but perhaps he has a different personality from your son, or perhaps he is really afraid of incurring his father's wrath... slowly but surely he began to complete all the homework that he brought home. I remembered banning him from TV whenever he lied about not having any homework, and leaving him at home with the maid when we go out in the weekend - to teach him a lesson. I also remembered rewarding him with little things and praises whenever he did complete his homework. And then, there was the cane, which really worked on him, resentment or not! I also began to check his bag everyday for a few weeks, until he realised not to lie, cos' I will discover eventually.

Now, I am facing the same problem with Shell, the littlest, who's only in Pr. 1. She's hiding her homework from me, can you imagine?? Then again, I should have expected that from her. She's the crafty one, afterall. I am just being as alert as I can now, so that I can "straighten the plant back to its upright form, whenever it shows signs of bending", before it gets worse, you know..

Oh gosh, parenting is tough, INDEED!! But we'll get there, eventually. :)