Mornings/Homework - which do I hate more

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Registered: 03-27-2003
Mornings/Homework - which do I hate more
Thu, 04-24-2003 - 12:11pm
I can't stand it, first thing in the morning I am running a bootcamp for an 8 year old who moves at the rate of an 80 year old. I was thinking of getting one of those whistles but I do not think the neighbors would appreciate it. HOW DO I GET HIM MOTIVATED??? By the time I am dressed and ready to go, Tyler is still staring at the wall in some weird trance. I end up yelling and having very rough mornings because of it.

Then there is homework, if it envolves writting stories or bookreports it will take 2 hours to do 15 minutes of homework. It seems that no matter what I do he continues to stare into space, like the answers are floating in mid-air.

I want my chaotic household to stop, I want Tyler get ready in the mornings and do his homework like the other children.

Tyler's meds seem to be fine, now it seems to be behavior.

Can someone offer some advice??

Avatar for mjaye2002
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 04-24-2003 - 2:27pm
Hi, Sunshine. I can totally relate. My ds11 is ADD/LD and we still have the homework problem. The morning problem is MUCH better.

I tried several things with ds, and many all at the same time, so I'm not sure if one worked better than another. Some of it, I think, he just simply outgrew. I began by getting him up a little earlier than usual, to accomodate his slowness. As I got ready, I would constantly ask him "Are your clothes on yet?" or "Got your socks/shoes on?" or "Is your backpack ready?". Not so much as to gripe, but to keep him focused on what he was suppose to be doing. If he answered no, then I would simply tell him to get them on or get it done. If we were still late, then I would tell him we would just HAVE to go to bed earlier that night so we could get up and get ready on time that next morning. We are all night owls at my house so this was extrememly difficult for ALL of us! I would adjust our bedtimes however much we were late that morning. ie 15 min late, then 15 min to bed earlier. I will confess I was not nearly as consistant with this as I should have been. Hopefully, your constitution is stronger than mine!! LOL But, it seemed to help anyway.

Ds is now in Middle School and is very conscience of his looks (for the girls, you know!!) so the morning routine goes much smoother. Nowadays, I am waiting on him to finish "fixing" his hair! BUT, he still has his moments in the mornings and especially with the homework at night where he just "tunes out". I always call it "going away". He will be doing something and he will just "go away" and you would have to "bring him back". I used to get so frustrated with that and would end up yelling at him. I have since realized that I can simply and quietly call his name or touch his shoulder and he will "come back". Even his teachers now use this method in class when they see that blank look. They will simply ask him to do something, or walk by his desk and touch him. It doesn't call any special attention to him and he responds well to it.

As for the homework thing, I don't know. We still have that problem. Ds was diagnosed at the end of 2nd grade (I think) with an unspecified LD. He was borderline on LD and on ADD. They weren't sure if he was lagging in school because he couldn't pay attention, or if he couldn't pay attention because he couldn't read. They admitted him to the Special Ed program and he began to get not only specialized help in reading, but shortened assignments as well. That has helped tons. I had to carve out a slot of time that I could sit with him while he did his homework. I would sit beside him and read a book or watch him work. I could keep him focused by being right there. Plus, if he had trouble with anything he could ask me that second, without having to hunt me down or interrupt me. I still do this on some of his homework, but it isn't quite as hard as it used to be. So, it CAN get better!

I'm so sorry this was so long, but I know exactly what you are going thru. And it is SO HARD. I hope some of this can help you.



iVillage Member
Registered: 08-26-2000
Thu, 04-24-2003 - 2:34pm
Homework - hands down!

In the morning, I still have patience. They still look sweet with their sleepy selves. Granted, I do most of the "work" in the mornings. We'd probably never get out of the door if I didn't. But at least he is cooperative, and we get things done pretty quickly. I'm not a morning person, either, so I take the path of least resistance. I also know that his meds have not kicked in yet in the mornings, so my expectations are not very high.

Homework drives me crazy. It is like pulling teeth some nights. And I feel like we do the minimum required and we're done with it. He doesn't have a whole lot left for homework most nights. I'm tired. My patience is fading fast. And I have other stuff to do - like they want to eat supper, etc. To be fair - it is a whole lot better now than it was before meds. Those nights resembled what you described - hours to do 15 minutes of homework. Lots of tears, fussing, and theatrics.

I know some people have had lots of success with a very structured morning routine that is posted somewhere. I think I should try that, because he DOES need to be more responsible for himself.



PJPIIadoration.jpg picture by Kimberly_sahm

Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-25-2003 - 8:11pm
Time for a behavior chart, I think! Need to list out the expectations (listing about 8 +/- 'things' that you want/expect of him) including homework, getting dressed in the a.m., etc. Then, instead of getting upset about the things he doesn't do, you need to focus on (and reward) the stuff he does! If there is one area you want to target, just focus on that. I do that all the time. Right now, mornings are my struggle, so DS earns 1 poker chip for every day that "I" have a pleasant morning ... meaning he is cooperative and I don't need to get myself upset. He needs to accumulate 10 chips in order to go to the shooting range (his latest passion.) No arguments or battles ... he either earns it or he doesn't. And, he doesn't go to the range unless he's earned it. I've used this with homework ... where he'd earn a chip for each 'good' day of homework (cooperative,) he'd lose one if he battled, and nothing would happen if he finished it but it was a struggle. 20 chips = a Game Boy game. Bribery? Perhaps. But, Kevin has learned that he EARNS his privileges and treats, and they are earned by compliance with rules and such.



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Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-25-2003 - 9:43pm
My 8 year old was never a morning person he needs time to wake up and can't be rushed. So I wake him an hour before we have to leave I put on the tv and a small light and let him lay there for 1/2 hour to wake up. Once 30 mins. past he's ready to eat, 15 mins later time to get dressed and 15 mins later we are out the door. He is still slow but no explosive screaming "MOVE IT" from me because I give him time to WAKE UP! As for homework I have him in ESE (Exceptionsl Student Program) at school and part of his program is less homework which has helped. I might also ad since he's been switched fron Adderall to Stratttera, he dosn't have the extra burst of energy he used to have he's even keel all day. Hope that helps-Lynn
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-22-2003
Sat, 04-26-2003 - 6:21pm
I couldn't help but laugh at your post....sounds like my daughter has a lot in common with your son! She is only in Kindergarten, but goes to a private school and they sock her with about an hours homework every night. Its hard to keep her still long enough, particularly because she grumbles they don't play in school (she went from public school where they had a preschool unstructured playtime setting to private school where they sit at desks and do work!) She's doing great in school, thanks to the ritalin, but she gives me problems getting up in the morning, and also doing homework in the afternoon. Of course, it doesn't help much that she was used to an afternoon kindergarten class before she changed schools! I still can't seem to get her in a routine, getting up. I get up at about 6:30 and start getting her up at about 6:45. She goes to bed early enough, but it takes me till about 7:30 to get her going, and then I have to rush her out of here at 7:45 to be to school by 8! Of course then she's grousing because I have to rush her to get her hair brushed, and her teeth brushed, and get her uniform on! There have been times she's left here without her hair brushed and I have just had to smooth it with my fingers before she got out of the car! Boy, it frustrates me to no end because I'm very prompt and I hate it when someone is late, or a slowpoke. I get angry and then yell and it doesn't make for a good morning. The only way I've found to get her awake is to take a bag of frozen vegetables from the freezer and put them against her back!!!!!!! It DOES work wonders, particulary on a cold morning!!!!!


mom of Ericha, age 12