First post here

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-1999
First post here
3
Sat, 08-18-2012 - 4:53pm

I have nearly 9 years worth of background, stories and questions.  However, it would take me weeks to type them all out.

My son is a challenge.  He's diagnosed with ADHD, but it's just the symptoms.  He's really just himself.  He's on medication to help with his symptoms but how well they work is quite variable.

Right now it's the summertime and we are struggling to get him to do anything.  Reading doesn't happen (you need to pick your fights).  Right now the fight I've picked it to get him to work on his math.  He on a program called "Xtra math", setup through his school.  I'm used to children mastering multiplication in 3rd grade, yet he is still struggling with subtraction and he's about to start 4th grade.  Mostly he's figured out how to "game the system", so he follows patterns, doesn't think (or even look at the problem) and just makes quick guesses.  It's frustrating because when he honestly tries, he does *very* well.  However, he'd rather spend hours arguing with me or trying to avoid it.  Even if I sit right next to him.  His typical day is about 27% correct.  If he tried for all *5 minutes*, I believe he could get 80%.  He just doesn't see it.

A big question for both our kids, is how much should you push?  We want them to enjoy their hobbies, but both my son and daughter show an interest in something and just as you get them all signed up and start working with them, they don't want to do it anymore.  We don't want to be the type of parents who torture our kids to do something they don't want to for years on end, but if you don't work hard and practice at something, you'll never get good at it and feel mediocre all your life.  We want them to show some passion and hard work for something they love.  They'd rather play with toys or watch a video.

Brokk...

Avatar for melissamc
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2007
In reply to: brokk
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 1:15pm
Hi Brokk, it's nice to meet you :smileyhappy:

My oldest is 14 and also ADHD, inattentive. He's also diagnosed with ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) and some anxiety issues. Totally feel your pain about not trying that hard on assignments, it's so very frustrating when they don't want to spend the time to do a better job. I do think that my son has gotten better at that as he's matured, but it still can take him forever to finish an assignment. He's also on meds, although we are tweaking them yet again to deal with some other issues he's having.

When it comes to interests, we tend to be pretty laid back in some ways. If our boys want to sign up for something, we do insist that they finish it out but don't force them to do it again if they didn't like it. One of my twins just didn't enjoy sports at all, after trying baseball, soccer, basketball and football. He stopped playing them after second grade, and we were amazed this spring when he wanted to try flag football, and now tackle football again this fall. Again we are giving him the chance to try it out and will make him finish out the season. I honestly never thought he'd being doing sports again, and think that by us backing off he developed the interests to try it again himself. He did try boy scouts during this break and although it didn't give him physical activity, was still something.

Our oldest wasn't a good fit for sports either, but found that he really enjoyed Tae Kwon Do. We do push him to stick with it a little, just because he enjoys it. If he truly disliked it, we wouldn't encourage him to keep at it on the days that he complains about going, etc. It's hard sometimes to determine if it's just normal kid grumpiness or they really don't like the activity. My 8 yo loves to play sports, but that doesn't mean he never has bad days where he doesn't want to go to practice, etc. You can tell by the way he gets when he's on his way there and getting on the field that he was just being cranky before.

Maybe they just haven't found that one thing they really love yet? Seeing my boys not working hard at something is so very hard, and we will have conversations with them about it. Getting them to apply it the next time is a whole other story :smileywink:

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Avatar for melissamc
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-2007
In reply to: brokk
Tue, 08-21-2012 - 1:01pm
Michelle Obama is a guest editor here this week, and I just watched a really good video of her discussing the issue of having your kids stick with an activity, I thought you'd find it helpful:
http://www.ivillage.com/guest-editor-michelle-obama-active-not-overscheduled-kids/1-h-481792

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-06-1999
In reply to: brokk
Fri, 08-24-2012 - 12:26pm
Thank you. It's funny but we said very similar things to our daughter.

My wife and I are both fencers. That's how we met. We both enjoy it. We are both good at it. My daughter has shown some natural inclinations towards it as well as a good body type for it. When she asked to do it, my wife and I both shifted gears to become CORI'd and become trainers for children in our organization so we could work with her as well as others. Yet she often doesn't want to do it. We've sat down and had discussions with her using the same words and logic. "You just want to stop because it's hard. It will get easier with practice. You can't just quit everything whenever it gets a little rough. You have to persevere and work through it."

There are so many shows and stories like a mom who used to be a cheer leader, forcing her daughter to do it, even though her daughter hates it. We don't want to be those parents. We also don't want to raise kids that quit everything when it becomes hard. Or worse, take no interest in things and have no hobbies.