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Calling on expert behavior modifying moms!!


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So, my adhd memory impaired son, who I have posted about before, has been lying about school work repeatedly and just brought home a report card with an f and a d.

 

When the f was a d, we sat down and talked nicely to him... I said that each day I would ask him what he went over in class and look at his notebook and help him re-do any work that he could improve (spelling corrections, full sentences, etc.). I have followed up on my part, but he "leaves the notebook in class". He insists it's all done correctly, etc. And goes out the door to play on the rip stick. Most of the time, he has NOTHING to show me.

 

The bottom line is that school is hard for him and he is refusing to do most work. I am getting notes from teachers that he just wont do the work, period. He doesn't want to try because he doesn't do good.

 

So, I have taken the rip stick away until the f and d come up. These are all special ed adapted classes. No one is expecting too much from him. He simply wants to play. He is 12.

 

I have printed a sheet out with his 3 classes that he is regularly not turning work in. I have contacted the teachers and explained that he is lying about homework (he does this every single week). I will check their websites each week, each day... and on Fridays they will send home notes/outlines for the next weeks work so that I am informed and in the loop.

 

The problem I am facing is... he gets very attitudinal over being required to do what he does not want to do. This is a boy who will not make his bed and line his shoes up or put his laundry away without putting up a fight.

 

I thought about a plan... He comes in from school. I tell him that we have 3 choices. #1) He sits down and completes homework that the teachers have informed me of (if he does not bring it home, I will be able to print it out). If he BRINGS it home, he gets to stay up an extra half hour. (He LOVES to stay up with my 16yob) If he does the work that I/the teachers require, he stays up another half hour. (this would put bedtime at about 9pm) (yes, his bedtime is at 8, but I let him read and he is "up" on his bed until 9 already) #2) If #1 does not work out (he does not do this and does not get to stay up) I will let him know that #1 did not work out and that he can now still cooperate with me and earn a point for the day and that at the end of the week, his points will earn him a trip for ice cream with me (he would most likely want the brother time primarily, but, this still gives him a reason to cooperate). AND if #1 and #2 do not work and he is giving me a lot of trouble, I will begin taking things away (his mp3 player for a day... reading time at bedtime... other things that he likes in his room).

 

What says the hive?? Am I on track? Is this way too complicated? I feel like if I don't get very involved, he will continue failing. When I tried to homeschool him it was TERRIBLE and I don't want to do that to him or to myself. I feel like I cannot watch on and see him lie to me and fail.

 

Thanks so much for taking time to work with me! You all are great! (yes, he is the one who the Dr.s say has a "mood disorder", but cannot get in for appointments until new year)

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When I taught 7th and 8th grade, I had a couple of students similar to your son re: homework assignments. When the parents were involved like you are, we called each other every single night (this was before email and websites). It was a royal pain, but once the students caught on that Mom and teacher were serious about communicating and him doing his work, most kids did well.

 

One idea that worked with one student was playtime right after he got home, IF he brought home his assignment sheet/ notebook, etc. That 30-45min of playing did wonders for him. If he didn't have it, his mom made him sit down and do some paper work.

 

Around here, bedtime reading is sacred. :001_smile: Changing that for your ds may make things worse instead of better. *I* wouldn't change that or bedtime during the week at all.

 

For my 12yo, and this is jmho, I wouldn't provide extrinsic motivation. If our 12yo wasn't mature enough to bring home an assignment, she wouldn't be mature enough to have an mp3 or other privileges. YMMV, though, depending on the dc.

 

Ok...I gotta run. You're doing the right thing...staying on top of him like this. It's tough, but it'll pay off. I always *loved* parents who took this part of their parenting seriously.

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So, my adhd memory impaired son, who I have posted about before, has been lying about school work repeatedly and just brought home a report card with an f and a d.

 

When the f was a d, we sat down and talked nicely to him... I said that each day I would ask him what he went over in class and look at his notebook and help him re-do any work that he could improve (spelling corrections, full sentences, etc.). I have followed up on my part, but he "leaves the notebook in class". He insists it's all done correctly, etc. And goes out the door to play on the rip stick. Most of the time, he has NOTHING to show me.

 

The bottom line is that school is hard for him and he is refusing to do most work. I am getting notes from teachers that he just wont do the work, period. He doesn't want to try because he doesn't do good.

 

So, I have taken the rip stick away until the f and d come up. These are all special ed adapted classes. No one is expecting too much from him. He simply wants to play. He is 12.

 

I have printed a sheet out with his 3 classes that he is regularly not turning work in. I have contacted the teachers and explained that he is lying about homework (he does this every single week). I will check their websites each week, each day... and on Fridays they will send home notes/outlines for the next weeks work so that I am informed and in the loop.

 

The problem I am facing is... he gets very attitudinal over being required to do what he does not want to do. This is a boy who will not make his bed and line his shoes up or put his laundry away without putting up a fight.

 

I thought about a plan... He comes in from school. I tell him that we have 3 choices. #1) He sits down and completes homework that the teachers have informed me of (if he does not bring it home, I will be able to print it out). If he BRINGS it home, he gets to stay up an extra half hour. (He LOVES to stay up with my 16yob) If he does the work that I/the teachers require, he stays up another half hour. (this would put bedtime at about 9pm) (yes, his bedtime is at 8, but I let him read and he is "up" on his bed until 9 already) #2) If #1 does not work out (he does not do this and does not get to stay up) I will let him know that #1 did not work out and that he can now still cooperate with me and earn a point for the day and that at the end of the week, his points will earn him a trip for ice cream with me (he would most likely want the brother time primarily, but, this still gives him a reason to cooperate). AND if #1 and #2 do not work and he is giving me a lot of trouble, I will begin taking things away (his mp3 player for a day... reading time at bedtime... other things that he likes in his room).

 

What says the hive?? Am I on track? Is this way too complicated? I feel like if I don't get very involved, he will continue failing. When I tried to homeschool him it was TERRIBLE and I don't want to do that to him or to myself. I feel like I cannot watch on and see him lie to me and fail.

 

Thanks so much for taking time to work with me! You all are great! (yes, he is the one who the Dr.s say has a "mood disorder", but cannot get in for appointments until new year)

 

I have a friend who faced a similar situation with her adopted son. Her son's teacher thought up a similar system to the one you describe here, and it was waaaaaay too complicated. The kid could not keep track of the system at all and so it failed to motivate him. Neither the teacher nor the parent could keep track either, quite frankly. I fear your system is too elaborate, though it's not my kid and you would certainly know better what will motivate him.

 

I like the idea of a playtime right after school to work off some steam.

 

Is there any way YOU can get his assignments? Would the teacher call/email them? Could you run into the school at the end of the day to get the notebook from the teacher? Once you've got an accurate list of assignments, you can put your energy into making sure he does the work as opposed to putting your energy into making sure he brings the list home.

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Bee - this is what I would do. I would tell him that he needs 30 points for a supper that is anything other than a bread and peanut butter sandwich (or whatever "basic" thing he could eat). It is another 30 points for free time that he could spend on treats - an extra 1/2 hour with your 16 year old, his mp3 player, some reading time in bed etc.

 

I would tell him that he gets 10 points for each of his homework assignments he brings home. Just by bringing home his 3 assignments he can earn a good dinner (and I know that you make yummy ones!) For each 10 minutes of actual work on his homework he can earn another 10 points. For 1/2 hour of concentrated effort he could earn one free time treat. For 1 hour he could earn two of them or bank his extra points for weekend use.

 

This method (but more extreme) has been used quite successfully with kids with defiance disorders. And your son has at least many behaviors in common with kids with those disorders.

 

If he doesn't have enough work to do for 1/2 hour then I would give him some remedial work to make up the time and his grades so that at the very least he could earn a good supper and one free time treat every day. I would not include physical activity as a treat because he needs that in order to help manage his heath.

Edited by Jean in Newcastle
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I'm sorry, but a child should not ever have to "earn" dinner, whatever issues he might be having. Using food as a reward or punishment is a great way to set a child up for a lifetime of food-related disorders. A nutritious meal with the family should be considered part of the normal day, not a reward you have to earn.

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I'm sorry, but a child should not ever have to "earn" dinner, whatever issues he might be having. Using food as a reward or punishment is a great way to set a child up for a lifetime of food-related disorders. A nutritious meal with the family should be considered part of the normal day, not a reward you have to earn.

 

Normally, that is true. But it is an established therapy for children with defiance disorders as set out by licensed psychiatrists. These children need some strong therapy in order to learn how to be part of a normal family. I would not recommend this to someone who was not dealing with some pretty major stuff. I also know and trust Bee's judgment to know that she will thoughtfully decide if this part of my recommendation would be the best for her child or not.

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Thanks, all.

 

Yes, Joanne. All work has been modified. He simply doesn't LIKE to, he would rather play.

 

I called him on the lying and let him know about how I will know what he is to do every single day and that if he doesn't have any work to do, he will read extra until the grades come up. And I found out that for 10 weeks he lied about spelling assignments. He'd say that they were done and in the classroom and he's never done but the first week's! The teacher never informed me of this!

 

I am VERY glad that he has had a good attitude about everything. He knows he has blown it big time. I have stayed pleasant with him, sat him down and gone over work for this week with him. He has done everything that he's been told to do! See... I know he can, he just wont unless he is made to. Yippee... at least he did it nicely!!! So, I am proud of him. I just have to tell myself that he has to have supervision and he cannot be trusted... he is stuck at about 7 years old and that's just the way it is...

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I'm sorry, but a child should not ever have to "earn" dinner, whatever issues he might be having. Using food as a reward or punishment is a great way to set a child up for a lifetime of food-related disorders. A nutritious meal with the family should be considered part of the normal day, not a reward you have to earn.

 

Normally, that is true. But it is an established therapy for children with defiance disorders as set out by licensed psychiatrists. These children need some strong therapy in order to learn how to be part of a normal family. I would not recommend this to someone who was not dealing with some pretty major stuff. I also know and trust Bee's judgment to know that she will thoughtfully decide if this part of my recommendation would be the best for her child or not.

 

I have to agree with Smrtmama on this issue. The option of using dinner as a reward/punishment is pretty extreme. It should not be tried without first talking with a doc. Yes, I have heard of this method, but there is a very specific way of going about it... and even then its fairly controversial.

 

If this were me, I would make sure that he has a specific work place set up just for him. Sit him down and decide what he needs to do his work. Have everything within reach.. pencils, paper, markers etc all within reach. Keep this area clean and well organized. Decide if he works better in silence or if some music would help him focus better. Sometimes gum or a sucker will help focus a kid on the task at hand.

 

I would also recommend setting up a chart of what he is supposed to do when he gets home from school. It needs to be the same... every day.

Something like:

3:30-3:45 get home; put away school bags; eat snack

3:45-4:15 outside play time

4:15-4:45 quiet study/homework time at desk

4:45-5:00 special computer/TV/video game time if all school work has been approved by mom.

 

You could easily post this schedule on poster board and give him paper check marks with velcro on the back to use each day.

 

Give him a clock to look at and stay focused on the schedule.. it will be very important. Kids need expectations, especially when you are trying to change a behavior.

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Thanks so much for taking time to work with me! You all are great! (yes, he is the one who the Dr.s say has a "mood disorder", but cannot get in for appointments until new year)

 

If this is the case then I would take the low road with all but the most critical issues and let the rest go until you get the professional help he may need. At my house that meant that I had to let a lot of stuff go so we had to prioritize like crazy. If you're dealing with ADHD, memory impairment, and probably mood disorders that's a big load for any kid to carry. Has he been tested recently to see where he's at in terms of being able to handle the academics at this level? Sometimes resistance to doing the work is a child's way of saying "I'm really struggling here."

 

I would take the battle back to school so you aren't having to fight it on the homefront. Reconvene the IEP team if you need to. Find out if there are any more steps that can be taken on their end.

 

If he's done well with incentive systems in the past then go with it. If not, don't expect it to work miracles now. Another option for a boy of this age is to threaten to meet him at his last class at school every day to make sure he has assignments and homework with him. That would have gotten my guys moving in a heartbeat. ;)

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One idea that worked with one student was playtime right after he got home, IF he brought home his assignment sheet/ notebook, etc. That 30-45min of playing did wonders for him. If he didn't have it, his mom made him sit down and do some paper work.

.

 

One of my kids absolutely had to have downtime after school. For years he did all of his homework in the morning until the work load became to great in 5th grade. It took a fraction of the time then. If it absolutely had to be done at night I would slip it to him at the dinner table the minute he finished eating.

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If this is the case then I would take the low road with all but the most critical issues and let the rest go until you get the professional help he may need. At my house that meant that I had to let a lot of stuff go so we had to prioritize like crazy. If you're dealing with ADHD, memory impairment, and probably mood disorders that's a big load for any kid to carry. ;)

 

I am going to have to agree with this. Before my dd was diagnosed and treated there were days when simply getting her through the basic living functions was all that possible. Of course, at that time I was homeschooling her so I could adjust as needed. It's much harder when you are working with someone else's assignments and schedules. I did find with my dd that if there was some way to make the learning challenging in a fun sort of way that she was more compliant. There was lots of me reading to her, scabble, educational computer games, trivia games and cards and jeopardy kinds of games with sisters. And sometimes, if I simply could not get through to her on something, one of her sisters could. Many times if was simply a matter of making a connection on something and sometime someone else could do it better than I could. It sometimes made a world of difference coming from someone else.

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1. I like the idea of if he brings home his homework etc. he gets 45 minutes of playtime BEFORE coming in to do the work. he is a kid - he needs to blow off steam for a bit. If he balks at coming in to do the work after playing - that is another problem (tell him he has lost the privilege of playing first for three days for every day he gives you a hassle about coming in to do the work.)

 

2. If he "forgets" to bring his work home.... he gets to 1. not play and 2. copy out, as neatly as possible, a page of the dictionary (my sixth grade teacher used to have the boys in class do this - drove them nuts and got them to behave quickly!).

 

3. Keep that daily contact with the teacher going. DS needs to know, too, that he can't "snow' either one of you. Let him know, too, that both his parent and his teacher want what is best for him, and "have got his back".

 

4. The earning points towards ice cream bit sounded a tad complicated to me - I imagine a kid with ADHD would need a more immediate reward/punishment, too.

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Is there any way YOU can get his assignments? Would the teacher call/email them? Could you run into the school at the end of the day to get the notebook from the teacher? Once you've got an accurate list of assignments, you can put your energy into making sure he does the work as opposed to putting your energy into making sure he brings the list home.

 

 

I would not do this - it should not be that big a deal, if the teacher is on-board, for the boy to learn to be responsible about bringing his work home. Checking by email or phone to make sure ALL the work got home I would do!!!

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First,:grouphug:!

 

You can put in his IEP that he has to have an agenda signed by his teacher every day. (We do this and it has eliminated forgetfulness of assignments.)

 

Is his adhd being treated? I'm going to assume yes, but if not, then that will have to be addressed.

 

I think you could have weekly rewards. If the agenda is signed daily and the teacher reports that all work has been returned, then ____ will be rewarded.

 

Good luck! Don't be afraid to reconvene the IEP team. It will be easier to fix this now then next year.

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