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  1. I've been hesitant to make ballet conditional, because it's the only thing that brings him joy these days. I did just propose it to him, though, and he was receptive. Here's hoping! Only DH has insurance through his employer, and we pay out of pocket for private insurance with a $10,000 family deductible. Oh, I've definitely withheld all of that before (except for what goes on at my parents' house, because it's their house and I need them for childcare). Withholding all of that made no difference, so I gave up on it. No one in this family has ever surrendered in a battle of wills, so they all have the same result: everyone loses. So you're right, I've run out of ''enforcing'', because it wasn't working and just made everyone even more miserable.
  2. He gets close to that amount (see above). That worked for about a week. Things aren't chaotic, but they are busy. I'm a graduate student and I teach at my university as well. I've set out very clear routines that are totally predictable, and the expectations are clear. See above about ''enforcing'' things. He's very much like I was, and my parents tried taking away every single of mine, and allowing me to do exactly nothing. Challenge accepted, and eventually the took me to a shrink who told them to try not feeding me, because absolutely nothing else worked. I'm putting that book on my list, thank you! Most of this I've addressed above, but it's not button-pushing, and he's not trying to get out of doing things. He's asked for help in overcoming this. I feel like I've shot down almost everything that was said, but I sincerely appreciate all of you taking the time to write all of this out. Having people coming up with most of the same ideas I've already had helps me feel like I'm heading in the right direction, and I'm going to redouble my efforts to persuade him to see a counselor. I think he might be more willing if I'm also able to have him evaluated for ADD, because his difficulty in focusing really bothers him.
  3. We've been trying to convince him to see a therapist, and we as parents went for an initial session over a month ago. The therapist said therapy only works when a person *wants* help, and he's adamant about not being comfortable talking to a stranger about personal stuff. So we're in a holding pattern on that front, but I'm worried about depression, as well. It's been getting steadily worse for months, since before winter. It's been sunny for several weeks now, here in the Bay Area. No allergies, but food intolerances that majorly effect his behavior. I've said every one of these things, more than once. This is what I've been doing, for months. I've done mega structure. I've done minimal structure. I've done ''happy medium'' structure. He's in a rigorous ballet program (his choice, and his primary source of gratification), with classes and/or rehearsals 3-5/week. On the in-between days he plays with neighborhood kids (outside, running around, scootering, etc., not TV/video games), or when he's at my parents' house he either plays games (imaginary and video), and bikes. He swims whenever he has a chance. So he's pretty active, and on the lower end of media consumption for most kids these days, from what I gather. Nothing's changed, and our previously regular schedule (including regular times for waking up, showering, schoolwork, chores, etc.) has slowly crumbled as his mood has worsened. He gets out of the house every single day, but definitely isn't over-scheduled in his activities. I've been strongly considering this, and wonder if I could have been ADD as well. School was easy enough for me that I never needed to focus or work hard, and had to learn those skills as an adult. I am organized. My organization no longer seems to work for him, and short of beating him, I've tried everything I can think of to ''insist'' that he do things like shower. I definitely have started giving one instruction at a time, to no avail. And far from being entitled (I did read the blog post), he's genuinely bothered by his lack of productivity, and feels more like he doesn't deserve what he has. Cont. in next post
  4. My nearly eleven year-old is convinced that he's a failure, and perhaps there's no point in trying to be anything else. This is partly my fault, because we're in a constant state of things not getting done. He's gone from being pretty good about his chores and good about schoolwork, to basically doing nothing. He's down to showering once a week, and barely gets any school done. Chores happen when the trash is overflowing and the cat box reeks, instead of daily. So I'm always hounding him to just.do.his.stuff, and now he's decided he's a failure. What do I now? I know some of it is the age, but how do I counteract the negativity?
  5. This. I'm no prude (big burlesque fan!), but no way for a third grader. Sixth might be fine, depending on the individual child.
  6. I recently switched from one Kaiser plan to another, and they wanted me to fax them the form they'd send me showing the coverage dates of the old plan before they would activate the new one. They sent it to the wrong address, so I called back and insisted that they fax it themselves. So they printed the letter again, and faxed it. To themselves. True story. When I got divorced, the state of California wanted me to send in a form with things like our SSNs, divorce case number and so on for the Child Support Registry. I didn't have to look any of it up, because they printed every single bit of the information they said they wanted *in* the letter saying they wanted the information.
  7. I can't speak to favorite Don Quixote editions, but my DS was seven when he asked to Douglass's Narrative. I warned him that it was violent, and he said he knew it would be, but he thought things like that need to be read, even though it's hard to read them, because it's important to appreciate them fully. I hadn't read it in a while before that, so I read a chapter ahead to make sure I could be useful for questions, and to make sure he could handle it. He could, and he did. I certainly think a seventh-grader should be able to handle it. I did tell him he most assuredly could *not* read Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, which was the second half of the edition we had. Far more violent, rape, etc. The violence in Douglass's Narrative is about as mild as you can get and still be telling an honest slavery story, IMO. To water it down any further would be to do the history, and those who lived it, an injustice.
  8. I wonder what it means? Is it just that the books themselves will be available in online editions, as the higher books are now, or that there'll be some kind of Alcumus or instructional component?
  9. My DD (just turned nine) is obsessed with a (physical, not video) game called Gravity Maze. It's a logic puzzle, no reading required, so it might fit your bill.
  10. The Grad School Kitty is actually grey and white, not black, but the lighting was bad.
  11. The Homeschool Kitty is similar; she's usually more if a hindrance than a "help,". In fact, her other nickname is "Homeschool Problem #1." The Grad School Kitty is much less of a nuisance. Poor kitty!
  12. They're tough jobs, but someone has to do them.
  13. Just FYI, the AoPS class does sections/week, as well.
  14. Darned Nutcracker rehearsals! We don't get our Saturdays back until after Christmas.
  15. Ditto. Not that this would be at all possible, but I think the nanny should find a new job and Barrow should take her place. He's a miserable devil, but he's so good with the kids. It's not as though the nanny should have trouble finding a new position.
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