Saturday, August 28th 2010
Seth-4yr’s Homework

I’ve been completely caught up in the heartbreaking scenario with the teenage mom. Thanks for your prayers. (so sad update is in that last link, am waiting to hear more)

I”ve been looking at my own children a little differently, a little closer.  They’re so healthy. So safe, so blessed, so wonderful… so obnoxious and rowdy and they’re learning new Burp Skills. (and… ew.)

I’m so thankful. For their general well being. Not for the burping. Never for the burping, unless they’re under 4 months of age, and no one is.

Last week Seth-4yr did NOT want to do his homework. It was his third day of preschool. He told me it was actually my train homework paper, not his, and that I should do it.

I told him homework was part of school, and if he wouldn’t do it, then maybe he didn’t need to be in school. He thought about it. I asked him to come sit in my lap and he pouted and I kissed his cheeks and did what any good mother would do.

I told him he could drop out of preschool.

I kissed his warm,  chubby cheeks and told him he could stay home and be my baby every day and I wouldn’t make him do homework and I’d just snuggle and kiss him and mother and smother him ALL. DAY. LONG.  It’s my last kid and the last time I’ll ever GET to offer a drop out option. So I took it. I was hoping he’d take me up on it, really. (The cat was hoping he’d take me up on it, too.)

He didn’t.

But he didn’t do his homework either.

Mike and I have seen this before. We don’t offer to ‘help’ and then end up doing the kid’s homework. We remind them to do it, and then if that kid STILL refuses, we’ll say something like, “Fine. I’m not getting all worked up over this decision of yours. I’m having a great night that does not involve undone homework drama. I wonder what the consequences will be for you…?”  The next day, that kid goes to school with a blank homework paper and a note that reads something like:

Dear Teacher,

As a parent, I know you expect me to check my kid’s homework and sign it. This homework is not completed, checked, or signed. My kid refused to do his/her homework even though it was not too difficult for him/her.  This was a deliberate choice, and is now a Learning Experience. Please show no restraint, mercy, or hesitation of any sort in handing out a shower of consequences and please do so with my blessing. And thank you!

We have never, EVER had a child test our commitment to this particular policy as early as the 3rd day of preschool, however. And Seth-4yr is really too little to get the full effect and benefit of having to take such a note to his teacher, but if this continues, we’ll gladly go there.

(and YES, I WILL offer my kid the option to drop out of school rather than do his homework for him. Those are MY makes-sense-to-me mixed up priorities, so… um…  yeah.)

I told Mike of Seth-4yr’s refusal to address the Train Homework and how it was still an issue and how I’d smothered him and kissed him and offered to let him be my Full Time Baaaaaabeeeee but he said, “no thank you, Mommy.”

Mike waited til I was at the gym that night and then took the “GET OUT OF THAT BATHTUB AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK” route.

And that worked.

Score one for the Hard Core Father Approach.


2 Comments on “Seth-4yr’s Homework”

August 28th, 2010
10:01 pm

Isaac (11) is mildly autistic, so anything that requires reading he will avoid like the flu (I would say plague, but I am not sure if that is how you spell it – but there, said it anyway). His delay tactic is needing to go to the bathroom – very, very, frequently. Finally made him show me what he did before flushing, that seems to have worked somewhat. I think that he thinks I am not able to figure this out . . .

August 29th, 2010
11:47 pm

i like Isaac’s idea! i used to hate reading out loud too (it wasn’t a problem for me, except in the antisocial/shy way). i remember trying to blend in with my brown desk by arranging my brown hair everywhere and wearing brown so teachers wouldn’t call on me. also, sitting real still. camouflage, according to a shy elementary kid.
that didn’t work either…

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