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Why is it that my 10 year old aways argues with me when I'm trying to show him what he did wrong on his homework?

Ok so, so far this year math has been a continuing battle here at home with him. Last night he had a problem: Alyssa has $2.55 in her piggy bank in dimes and nickels. Her bank has twenty-one dimes, how many nickels does it have? Well his answer was 4 nickels, I believe he didn't read through and answered for 21 cents, but he says and swears he is not confused. I even brought out the change so he can count the change and he still wants to argue with me that the answer is not 9 nickels it's 4. Everyday is a battle, and I know he sees that he's wrong but too hard headed to say it, or admit he made a mistake. How do you guys help your children with this type of behavior? I've written notes to the teacher, even asked for tutoring if possible, the work is review from before but soon they will be moving on and all I see him doing is moving backwards.


Asked by sheli2007 at 12:13 PM on Oct. 14, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Level 13 (1,357 Credits)
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Answers (9)
  • Many children get frustrated and feel that correction is criticism. Is he having difficult with just math? Some kids do well in most subjects but have one that's more challenging. You could tell him about difficult times that you had in school and if one subject was hard for you. Just bring it up in casual conversation, not while he's doing his homework. At another time tell him that you can see that he's very upset and you want him to think of a better way for you to help him. Ask him what words would be comfortable for him. If he feels a little in control, it may help him. I know you aren't attacking him, but at his age he feels that way.

    Answer by AlisonAstair at 12:20 PM on Oct. 14, 2010

  • Don't show him. Make him find out how it is wrong and correct it. OR tell him it's wrong and let him get it marked wrong at school and do the "I told you so".

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 12:16 PM on Oct. 14, 2010

  • See i have the complete opposite prob my 11 yr old tries to get me to do his homework

    Answer by lisajellybean at 12:18 PM on Oct. 14, 2010

  • It's most likely that he's embarrassed that he's not getting it. It could also be that he thinks he's right. It could simply be that he's just doing the whole battle against the parent for no reason.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 12:45 PM on Oct. 14, 2010

  • maybe try a tutor, he'd be less likely to be a butt to a stranger

    Answer by Ashlynnsmommy07 at 2:36 PM on Oct. 14, 2010

  • Let it go and let him learn from the natural consequences of getting it wrong and not trying. He will eventually learn and care about his homework and grades. The more you push, the more he will resist. It's hard to do this but sometimes tough love works the best.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:27 PM on Oct. 14, 2010

  • I actually have done that Braden, and it backfires. When he gets it marked wrong, he doesn't react like I'd hope he would. He always says "no one is perfect" or "everyone is not going to get it right". I ask him even about friends grades on their homework, and he tells me that they can't compare grades, so no one feels bad, which is where I think this stems from. I always ask him, wouldn't it be great if you got an 80 or up? He says it's not a competition. Whatever question I ask him, he has an answer for it., a smartass type of answer. I just don't know what to do anymore. When I talk about the future and college for him and how I want him to do better than we have, he says "no one is better than anyone else". It's a never ending battle.

    Comment by sheli2007 (original poster) at 12:26 PM on Oct. 14, 2010

  • Thanks Allison, I've talked to him in soo many different ways. I'm thinking of finding maybe a tutor or something, because then they would help him, and if he does feel like I'm criticizing him it would't be me. He has trouble with reading comprehension at times as well. I feel that he just doesn't like to be wrong, which I showed him how to check his answers so that way he'd be able to correct himself, he doesn't always do it. Another problem he had was to make the highest 4 digit number from 1,2,3,4,5. The answer he gave was 4315, and it was supposed to be 5432, and even though I went through the steps calmly he still said his was the correct answer, and was adiment about it. I let the teacher explain it to him again, and he said she said I was right, but he had an attitude about it. I

    Comment by sheli2007 (original poster) at 12:36 PM on Oct. 14, 2010

  • Thanks everyone for your help and advise. I am going to step back a bit and let him get it wrong again and see what happens. I just don't like that sometimes when a student gets a lot of things wrong they call us and and have a chat about it, when I am ready and willing to help him, if he would just pay attention and listen.

    Comment by sheli2007 (original poster) at 11:20 AM on Oct. 15, 2010