8 year old refuses to do class work...

Heidi - posted on 03/24/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My 8 year old daughter has been having a rough time. Her father and I had a 1 month separation and we are now back together. A week ago my husband and I had a meeting with her teacher because my daughter was not doing any work whatsoever. Since the meeting she is doing great with homework but still refuses to do class work. She is very capable of doing it, proof is in the class work she HAS done. Her teacher and I are at a loss. I have grounded her from TV, her playstation, going places, playing outside everything. and nothing has worked. I just dont know what else to do to get her to do her class work. Her homework now takes her around 2-3 hours to complete because she has classwork to complete too. I thought about putting her in "special" classes but I would feel horrible doing that because I know how capable she is of doing the work... does anyone have a idea or suggestion to get her to do her class work?

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Rebecca - posted on 03/25/2010

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i do wonder how much you have talked to your daughter about the separation? does she know the reasons behind it? maybe she thinks it was her fault? is she scared your issues are not REALLY resolved and it will happen again? does she feel that your relationship is beyond her control, and therefore she needs to exert control over one thing that she can exert control over -- i.e. when she does her school work?

i think it would be important to communicate with your daughter about the real reasons for the separation and how you and your husband resolved this; i would also with your husband figure out a better solution than separations if you have problems in the future (e.g. marital counselling) and let your daughter no that you will do this, so she knows that you guys are committed to making it work. i think it would be important to discuss at length with your daughter how she is feeling about the stability of your relationship and what her fears are -- you don't have to have all the answers straight away, but you could agree to discuss it further once you and your husband have had a chance to think about solutions.

i really think the key here is restoring her confidence and security in your relationship (if confidence and security is warranted) rather than focus on the symptom (the school work).

Elizabeth - posted on 03/25/2010

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Talk to her and let her know that the only one she is hurting is herself by not doing her school work... Be honest with what you expect... Maybe this is a time for her to go into counselling to work out the issues that she has with what happened with you and your husband... Because I'm sure she felt the turmoil too... be patient, honest, and understanding, because I'm sure she is having a tough time too. Good luck with you family, and best wishes to you!

Gshermaine - posted on 03/25/2010

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Heidi - I'm glad to hear you and your husband was able to work out your differences and whatever the situation was at least it was workable. In my experience parents that are seperated have a tough time with chidren dealing with not seeing mom and dad together everyday. On the issue at hand we have a very capable 8 year old son that went through this for a short period of time too. It was taking 2 - 3 hours getting the homework done which definately was frustrating. Like you we took away all his "goodies" and then he would improve for a couple of days then we would give in and the cycle would start all over again. We have a calendar in his room with all the fun things that has been planned such as birthday parties, going to Tae Kwon Do and playing football. We explained if the work does not get done on time the weekend fun activities including football and Tae Kwon Do would be out for the week too. Yes he missed a couple of footbal practices and that was the kicker for him and improvment lasted for the rest of the season. We also explained that homework can/will take as long as necessary for him to complete and if he continues to take 2 -3 hours to do it - then what he's telling mommy and daddy is he wants to go to summer school not summer camp. So on this calendar we have for the fist Monday after the school year is over "Summer School/Summer Camp?" No swimming going on field trips playing basketball with his friends camp outs or anything. Once he noticed he was not going to frustrate us any longer and every now and then we say Summer School or Camp - you have the choice. The key is STICK TO WHAT YOU SAY! We love them so much so 10 minutes of good behavior - we want to give in. Don't do it! Hope this helps!

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