Not doing homework

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2012
Not doing homework
15
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 4:05pm

Ok..This is going to be long...I have raised 2 biological children and 3 step children who are all adults and my current DH has a 17 yr old DS that lives with us.  His dad works nights so I get the "pleasure" of enforcing restrictions.

DS is currently a Junior in High School and most of this Freshman and Sophomore years he lived on restriction.No cell phone, no xbox, etc.

This summer he had a job a bought a car, with the understanding if he didn't turn in his homework, he would not be driving it to school...well we ware 4 weeks into school and he only drove maybe 2 weeks, he hasn't had a cell phone for 3 weeks and has no xbox, kindle, DS or IPOD...nothing that connects to the internet.  AND he is still getting zero's.

When I caution him about spending his money on silly things he says well he would have a job if I would let him..oh...I didn't want him to have a job during school, because I wanted him to concentrate on school..and have fun on the weekends, but his father said if he turned in all his homework he could have a job and I reluctantly agreed.

So now he blames me for no car, no phone, no computer and no job...and I remind him, all he had to do was turn in his work.

He is a very very bright child, making 98-100 on the TAKS tests and is in a Charter School, so its not like he can't do the work, he just won't...

Any suggestions?

 

 

 

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Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 4:53pm

See, I just learned something else from iVillage! :smileyhappy:

 

Avatar for cmlisab
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 2:35pm

Oh, I definitely wasn't questioning his diagnosis- sorry if it came across that way! I just wanted to share since I'm 36 and never knew until recently that just b/c you can "hyper-focus", doesn't mean you can rule out ADHD.

As a side note- my 9 year old has hypelexia- hardly anyone has heard of it but Asperger's is probably the closest diagnosis to it. 

Lisa 

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 2:31pm

Thanks, Lisa, that was interesting.

At this point, ODS is 20yo and doing great in college, despite his various issues.  It's possible he does have ADHD, but he seems to have developed a lot of the coping mechanisms he needs to get through life.  And Aspergers is almost certainly the right diagnosis for him, even if it did come late.

Avatar for cmlisab
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 1:08pm
mahopac wrote:

 

When you start out with a high-maintenance kid like my oldest, you think that's what they're all going to be like.  I used to wonder when he was young if ODS had ADHD because he was superkinetic and refused to have anything to do with things he didn't like; on the other hand, if he was intensely interested in something he could spend hours with it, so attention deficit wasn't his problem.  Aspergers should have been diagnosed sooner but oh well. . .

 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

I actually reesisted the ADHD diagnosis for myself and my kids at first for this very same reason. I thought it couldn't be ADHD b/c of the ability to intensely focus on something that's interested us, for hours at a time. However, a therapist then told us about the concept of "hyper-focusing", which is actually pretty common in those with ADHD.

http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/612.html

Lisa 

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 10:36am

Well, holy cow - one of the doctors mentioned on the pediatric neurology link IS my son's neurologist for his migraines!  And he just happens to have an appointment next week.  I think I will be going along so we can discuss ADD.

Thanks again!!!

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Thu, 10-04-2012 - 10:29am

Thanks for the links, Sabr.  I had seen the Chris Dendy one already, but those books look helpful.

When you start out with a high-maintenance kid like my oldest, you think that's what they're all going to be like.  I used to wonder when he was young if ODS had ADHD because he was superkinetic and refused to have anything to do with things he didn't like; on the other hand, if he was intensely interested in something he could spend hours with it, so attention deficit wasn't his problem.  Aspergers should have been diagnosed sooner but oh well. . .

YDS's problem is definitely getting worse.  When you talk about NOW and Huh?, I totally see that in him.  He wants to please us - he is a really easy-going, loving child - but he just can't "get it together."  We're going to ask our pediatrician for a referral - he has referred us to absolutely amazing specialists over the years, going way back to when my oldest needed immediate surgery for an ovarian tumor, to fantastic pediatric neurologist who sees YDS for his hemiplegic migraines.

We are really lucky that our middle child is so easy.  She was stubborn as all get-out when she was 12 & 13, but she has innately good relationship skills, makes wise choices, is very smart, is motivated to work hard at everything, wants everyone to be happy, enjoys being independent yet close with her family, is happy with herself as an individual, and has just enough competitive oomph to be a contender for salutatorian of her class of 450.  Good thing we got a break in there somewhere with those three kids. :smileywink:  But Lord knows, we love them all, and they know it!

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 10-03-2012 - 5:14pm

For parents with kids like ours (and I'm including your older child, too), it's hard to remember that most kids are NOT "high maintenance".   Most kids do NOT lose their homework--and their glasses, coats, lunch, gym uniform, permission slips, and band instrument-- between the bedroom door and the classroom door.  They do NOT (as my DH put it) need to be REMINDED to wipe their butts--that thought just comes naturally.  Children have an inherent desire to please adults-- especially their parents -- because this is a survival trait.  Otherwise, their caveman families would have pitched them out into the snow.  Our kind of kids don't WANT to be in trouble all the time--they just can't help themselves. 

ODD told us she'd forget to do the homework the first day--or some other project would take up all her time, and she just wouldn't get to it.  By the second day, she couldn't remember what she had to do, or how to do it, because every day in Jr Hi, or HS, there was always MORE to remember.  By the 3rd day, she was just so far behind, and so stressed about it, that she just ignored it.  In one of the links I'll give you, the Pdoc says, to make sense of  ADD/EDer's actions, you have to remember that they have only 2 time frames.  NOW, and Huh?  So they will do what makes NOW work for them--even if that means de-stressing about the undone homework by just throwing it away.  Out of sight, out of mind.  LITERALLY.

Tell your Dh that an "on-line" diagnosis doesn't mean that you are going to walk into a dr's office and say, "My kid has this.  Put him on this med."  It is a jumping off place.  There are many variations, and "pluses" with these kinds of disabilities.  Many processing disorders cause ADD-like symptoms, or may be present IN ADDITION to the ADD.  There are also a number of MEDICAL conditions that cause ADD-like symptoms--like hypothyroidism, and Celiac disorder.  And every kid responds differently to different meds.  That is why I suggest a psychiatrist.  They are Pdoc, and MD in one, and they SPECIALIZE in sorting all that out.  And be warned, meds are not a "magic solution".  I often tell people, that meds only make kids CAPABLE of concentrating, understanding, and staying on task.  They don't teach them HOW to, or make them WANT TO.  Your boy has had 12 years of doing whatever mal-adaptive things he's done, to cope with life.  He needs to learn new coping skills, once he becomes CAPABLE of that.  

And they are STILL going to have problems, and will need accommodations to help adjust for their disabilities.  Remember that Spanish final my ODD was walking into?  She flunked it. But the teacher gave her a B for the class out of pity.  Come to find out, she answered the first ten question correctly, and then 99% of the rest of them wrong.  Because she'd skipped one line on the scantron, and all the subsequent black dots were in the answer position of the PREVIOUS LINE.  We learned from that--no scantrons.

And YDD?  We figured out that her brain just REMOVED a word, letter, figure, numerical position--if it was blurry.  This is the same brain trait that makes mono-vision contacts workable.  As a result, she just accepted whatever looked similar.  So, "constipation"  instead of  "constitution",  "Clifton" instead of "Clinton".  Perhaps we should have suspected something much earlier, when her letter to Santa for a "blowing sh*t" instead of a "bowling shirt".  We just thought it was hilarious.  She was embarrassed.

http://www.pediatricneurology.com/adhd.htm

http://www.chrisdendy.com/

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Wed, 10-03-2012 - 10:46am

Sabr, thanks for going into so much detail.  Our 12yo DS continues to do poorly in school because he fails to write down homework, or fails to do it, or just fails to turn it in.  DH rides him like crazy every day after school, but we still get emails from teachers talking about his inattention in class, inability to get to class, etc.  I've been looking into ADD-inattentive, and he displays 100% of the characteristics.  Not most of them, 100% of them.

Your DD's comment about "turning the light on" is really encouraging.  DH doesn't want to jump to online diagnoses, and neither do I, but I wish we'd done more sooner to deal with older DS's bipolar disorder and Aspergers. After we meet with DS's teachers next week, I want to have him evaluated by a psychologist.

Your post was very helpful.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 10-03-2012 - 10:20am

Growing up, both my kids couldn't remember where their read ends were, and couldn't find them with both hands.  But they were bright, personable, adorable, & could sell ice to eskimos.  Their teachers loved them.  Plus, if you ASKED them a question, they could tell you a story, and they scored high enough on the high stakes testing that they were placed in all Honors classes for freshman year of HS.  Both nearly flunked that year.  OlderDD did SO badly in her math, that for 10th grade, they dropped her into BASIC classes, which, if you follow the downward trajectory, is AP => Honors => Regulars => Basic.  During one of my MYRIAD parent-teacher conferences, one told me, "She'd get 50% if she'd just turn the homework IN.  It doesn't even have to be RIGHT, it just has to be THERE."  I'd look at her, and she'd just shrug her shoulders.  So, she was grounded almost the entire year.  By me practically sitting on her shoulder, by the end of the year, she had managed to get herself up to Honors D's in all academic classes -- and A's in Music, Art and PE, so her GPA wasn't invisible.  At the end of the year I told DH, "Our kids are SMART.  They are NOT lazy.  Something else is going on."  He said, "There's nothing wrong.  They're girls.  They're airheads.  They're JUST LIKE ME!"  I took both the kids and RAN to find a doctor.

They were both diagnosed as ADD(+).  The pluses make life even MORE... interesting.  We started meds and counseling over the summer.  Starting 10th grade, dd walked into her 2nd year of Spanish to find that the teacher was the same guy who'd taught her Honors class the year before.  When he saw her, he took her aside and said, "Ms Mo, I cannot understand why you have chosen to torture BOTH yourself and me, for a 2nd year!"  She explained that she'd been diagnosed as ADD, and was now on meds.  HE was NOT persuaded.  At the end of the year, when she had an A walking into the final, he took her aside once more, and said, "I always thought ADD was an excuse for lazy or stupid kids.  YOU have changed my mind."

In her Basic Geometry class, their idea of teaching had her cutting geometrical shapes out of magazines, and identifying, sphere, cylinder, isosoles triangle, right triangle...  So with our diagnosis in hand, we went to the administration and petitioned for her to be placed in at LEAST a Regular class.  They said they had no proof she could do the work, BUT if she not only A'ced her Basic midterm, AND took the Regular midterm and passed that, they would change her.  There was no way she could sit in both classes, and they wouldn't take her out of the Basic class till after their "test".  I got them to give us the Regular textbook, *I* tutored her while she also did ALL her other classwork, and she walked into the Regular Midterm and got a B.

ODD told me, "I used to feel like I was walking around in a dark room.  But when I take the meds, it's like somebody turned on the light.  If you SUSPECTED this could be fixed, why did you make me suffer so long?"

YDD is 2.5 years younger than her sister, so we got her started the summer before she went into 7th grade. Jr Hi was a little rocky, but she still got into HS Honors.  I felt confidant that she would do fine, since we'd been treating her for 2 years, and I been down the road with her sister.  Wrong.  She ALSO was practically flunking by midterm.  HOMEWORK was again an issue.  At the Patent-Teacher conference, teacher said, "She only does PART of the homework", which I could not understand, since *I* checked it myself before she took it back to school.  Turns out most teachers wrote the homework on the board as the kids were filing INTO the room, and then erased it as they began the lesson.  DD only wrote down PART of what was on the board before it vanished.  Detective work also revealed that most of her meds were going under the mattress instead of in her mouth, and she wasn't tellin g anyone she couldn't get everything they were writing down, because she didn't want to be DIFFERENT.  It also revealed that she had a previously undetected Visual Processing Disorder.  $7000 in tutoring later, she got a 25 on her ACT, and an English teacher told her, "If your file didn't PROVE you have ADD and LD, I would NEVER have guessed."

QED.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Wed, 10-03-2012 - 1:06am

I have no BTDT experience to share, but these thoughts come to my mind.

As Sabrtooth posted, I would look for some type of learning issue.

However, 98-100 on state assessment tests indicates to me that you may have a kid that is bored out of his gourd. 

As Musiclover posted, you’re kind of in a very difficult position as the enforcer. 

I would take the position that I was like a probation officer and reporting the facts to the JUDGE (his father).  I would let his father make all the decisions about when and where he is allowed to work.  In short don’t blame me, talk to the JUDGE. 

Something that you might attempt is to set down with a piece of paper and number the lines from say 15 through wherever they end and then say something like, “Mark (or whatever his name is) you are now 17 and a HS junior.”  Write those words (HS Junior) on the line marked 17 and then ask him to start filling in the blank lines below with where he hopes to be in those out years.  Ask him how he plans to reach those goals?  Do you think getting a HS diploma might help in reaching those goals?  Do you think that colleges might want to see good grades? What kind of jobs do you think you can get without education?  Do you think girls might want their hubby to be able to provide for them?   Provide a little more than flipping hamburgers pays?  Do you think you can live here until your 50 and pay no rent?  What are your plans for the future and how do you see getting there? 

What you are trying to do is get him to look way out into the future.

One of my uncles was a Professor at a state university where every student that graduated from HS and could still frost a glass with his breath the following September was allowed to enroll at the university because in those long ago years, the state had no community colleges.  (My uncle doubted that anybody ever checked to see if the student could frost a glass with his breath.)  As you might guess more than half of those freshmen were gone by spring. 

One of my uncle’s favorite students was the one who asked him on the first day of class if my uncle remembered him, which my uncle did not.  The student remarked that seven years earlier my uncle and four other Profs had flunked him out, but that was not going to happen this time.  My uncle remembers thinking, “We shall see.”

This student became the best student my uncle ever had and my uncle said, “I would like to think that my teaching skills improved that much over those seven years, however all the changes had occurred in that student’s skull.” His attitude was what was different.

Your step son’s dad needs to sit him down and explain the facts of life.  “At some point son, my fathership scholarship is dependent upon you making progress in school.  And if that progress stops so does the money.  I’ll put that money aside for you to use when you’re ready to apply yourself to making progress.  If you’re not making progress in college, the room and board around here is . . . .  And that money goes into your pot of money for when you are ready to apply yourself. ” 

This might help the boy focus. 

Also, I think some kids would do better to work a year or so after HS graduation while they try to figure things out.  This is not a bad investment of time in many cases. 

 

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