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some suggestions plz...

Posted by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 7:34 PM
  • 12 Replies

my 10 yr old can't seem to stay focused on her homework... long story short, it took 4 hrs to do one thing she said would only take 30 minutes to 1 hr and somewhere along the way she decided to do something non-homework related that took about 15 minutes... We tell her that she has a deadline to meet- so many hrs to get all her backed work done... she can't stick with it.  She goes slower if we stand over her watching to make sure she does her homework. Groundings seem to give her no motivation, she just shrinks, says "stop it, you're scaring me" or "stop yelling at me" (we do not yell, just use firm voices) and starts crying. I asked DH if we should get her tested for ADD to be put on Ritalin or something, and he says that isn't the answer but he doesn't know what is... We need to figure this out now before she goes to 6th grade next year, so suggestions and advice are needed and welcome. How can I get her focused and keep her focused on getting her work done? Thank you.

by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 7:34 PM
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by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 7:39 PM

 First thing - do you use a timer? If not, try it.

I know it sounds very silly but I've learned that my 9 year old frequently has a poor perception of just how long (short) 15 minutes can be!  So instead of making "ME" the bad guy when I say time is up - I let the timer do the talking.

I set the kitchen microwave timer - or SHE can do it - for the specified time. When it beeps, times up. PERIOD. END OF DISCUSSION.

by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 7:47 PM

I would make her sit at the table and miss out on everything fun for the day until she was done. I would also let her know that if she doesn't start doing her homework then she is going to fail the 5th grade. Which means all her friends are going to go on and leave her behind at the school by herself (Assuming your school stops at 5th grade and 6th graders go on to middle school). If she argues that she's passing without getting it done tell her that as her parent you can have her held back.

I would also speak to her teacher about her missing recess. Ask if she can sit recess out in the office doing unfinished homework and miss having fun with her friends until she decides to get on track. 

You may want to speak with her doctor or even her guidance counselor they may have some ideas of what could be going on or suggestions on how to help her. Remember though, that even though she tells you to "stop yelling at her" doesn't mean you have to.

by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 7:47 PM

hmmm... I wonder if I can make that like a game?? "beat the clock" We just have to make sure she doesn't rush and miss things... should i give a reward (other than praise)? like a promise to go buy a movie or game or ice cream treat? that last one would be a once a week thing...

by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 7:49 PM

 Beat the clock can work - depending on her motivation. With some lessons - my DD is motivated to "beat her best time" and uses a stop watch.  You may not even have to offer a treat - make a chart/graph as a start where she can show her progress. That may be enough

by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 7:51 PM

Try the timer thing... if you haven't already.  It is a great suggestion. 

If you have tried tools like timers, rewards... and they don't work, I would suggest talking to your child's pediatrician.  Also, check with the school's psychologist.   If she does have a processing issue... or focusing issue... denying it or saying "that's not the answer" isn't going to make it go away.   If she cannot focus or control it... if her brain cannot process the information the way neurotypical kids do... if per chance, her brain is wired a little differently, then it isn't her fault.  You cannot FORCE a child to focus IF his or her brain isn't wired that way....  They need help.   Sometimes, yes, they do need medication, sometimes not.  Ritalin is not the only medication.   

*In some children caffeine (without excess sugar) can help them focus.  Such as a cup of tea, or even coffee.    Yes, Our Ped recommended Coffee for our Son on occasion.   He does take medication.  NOT ritalin.   He takes what we found works for him.  He is not wired.   He is not sedated.   He went from taking HOURS to getting his homework done... to getting it done in just a few minutes.   He has high functioning Aspergers...  (which is often mis-diagnosed as ADHD...)  

by Kandice on Feb. 9, 2011 at 8:00 PM

 I agree with what the other ladies have already posted. Good luck! And {{{HUGS}}}

by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 8:06 PM

thx! She is a TAG student... can pass the tests no prob with high grades... the reason she has currently low grades in school is because she doesn't want to do the homework... lol She says it is stupid and pointless...

And the missing recess thing... I will definitely talk to her and her teacher about that...

by on Feb. 9, 2011 at 11:15 PM
Is there something that she really wants?? If so have her work for a reward. If she gets what u want done and does it right give it to her. Kids like to get thing just make her do some work for it. It's worth a try. Works with my 5 year old that's going on 13 lol
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by on Feb. 10, 2011 at 6:41 AM

 My 9 year old son is the same way..

by on Feb. 11, 2011 at 12:30 AM

My 8yro dd is the same way and she has ADHD and a learning disibility! What about at school? If she continues,i would def talk to her Dr and get her evaluated for ADHD!

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