View Full Version : Setting limits...


LynneC
03-20-14, 02:08 PM
My son is 11 and entered middle school last fall. It's been a pretty horrible year for him academically and has gotten worse each quarter. (in elementary school he was always an A/B student) I think with all the changes that occur in middle school, coupled with a social life at school that is becoming more important to him, academics have taken a back seat.
We have adjusted meds for him, and that has helped somewhat...but he seems far more interested in socializing with his friends in school than doing well in class. And this is carrying over with his homework as well.

I am struggling with setting limits for him, in particular with regard to 'tech'. He gets home at 3pm and is on his own until I am home at 5pm. The way it was supposed to work was that he could have 2 hours of free time and then start his homework when I got home. What it's devolved into is a daily struggle over him turning off his PS3, then actually doing his homework in a timely fashion. Once he's hurried through his homework he's back playing video games or watching YouTube videos on his I-pod.

I know that this is way too much tech time, and I'd like to hear what others do about this. Do you link tech time to school performance? Do you set a fixed amount of time for daily video game/I-pod/computer play? Do you force your kid to go outside and play every day?

I'm really feeling like I need to make some radical changes here, but I'm not sure where to start...

Piper30
03-20-14, 02:19 PM
This is going to sound weird and I am sure some will fault me for it but it works for my son.

If everything is "off" tv, music, games etc ... and my son is forced to sit down and just focus on homework..... it does NOT happen. A teacher had suggested to me that I let him have the tv on low, and even try doing problems or work on commercials. I thought she was nuts.

It works. His schedule when he gets home ..

DS, PS3 (whatever tech thingie he wants to play) until I am there. (bout 5pm)
Shower and take clothes out for school next day -
Show my homework, make game plan ... (what do you want to do first, what don't you want to do, what is hardest etc etc )
He always does the easiest stuff first of course ... that stuff he can do in minutes no issues. The harder stuff we break up .. say he has math and it is a bunch of word problems. Tv on low, read the problem ... explain problem, if he needs help I help him if not he works on it until he gets it or gets frustrated then he takes a break.

Usually he does his work during commercials and eventually started working even when his show is on because I think, he didn't feel pressured.

Side note, NO TECH UNTIL IT'S DONE.... he knows this and if he asks me if he can play he loses whatever he wanted to play with for the rest of that night. So he doesn't ask anymore. Once his homework is done he is "Free" he can do whatever he wants until bedtime.

Few years ago he was held back, but now he is in the top of his class. For me the biggest thing has been not rushing him, and seeing what works for him. Learning when he was getting mad at me he was frustrated with himself. He is smart and it frustrates him when he can't get things quickly.

Btw my son is year younger

ccom5100
03-20-14, 07:34 PM
I'm usually home before my 14 yr old gets home. He gets home from school at about 4:20. He has until 7:00 to complete his homework. If it's not done by then, he loses internet access for the rest of the night. He's not allowed to play x-box except on weekends, and only if he has no missing assignments for the week.

mamabear78
03-20-14, 10:55 PM
I am already having the same issue with my 7 year old so thanks for posting. I have to have a set time for homework daily--4:30--or it doesn't happen. He huffs and puffs the entire time he does it.

The only reason I wanted to chime in is due to what Piper30 said. I never thought about it in regard to my son, but that is actually how I did my homework in high school--in front of the tv. I'd come home daily, watch "Saved By the Bell" and do homework at the same time. No clue if it'll work with your son, but it was for some reason necessary for me thinking back. I remember being able to concentrate better, which I know makes no sense. I have never liked a silence in the background. Now if I had to study, I used notecards. It has never dawned on me to actually try that with my kid. Maybe worth a shot!

sarahsweets
03-21-14, 04:59 AM
I give my daughter 1 half hour of tv time and then make her get one of her three homework assignments done , The rest can be done after dinner.

LynneC
03-21-14, 05:31 AM
I'm usually home before my 14 yr old gets home. He gets home from school at about 4:20. He has until 7:00 to complete his homework. If it's not done by then, he loses internet access for the rest of the night. He's not allowed to play x-box except on weekends, and only if he has no missing assignments for the week.
This sounds like the approach I may take...
I've been struggling as to whether I should tie in PS3 time with school performance; I think I have to at this point...

tripleE
03-21-14, 09:28 AM
DS, PS3 (whatever tech thingie he wants to play) until I am there. (bout 5pm)
Shower and take clothes out for school next day -
Show my homework, make game plan ... (what do you want to do first, what don't you want to do, what is hardest etc etc )
He always does the easiest stuff first of course ... that stuff he can do in minutes no issues. The harder stuff we break up .. say he has math and it is a bunch of word problems....


I really like this approach. Especially the break in between tech and homework time and making a game plan for homework. That's so great you've found something that works well for your son.


For my 11 y/o daughter we have a "before screen" routine right away after school - 1 chore, 1 chunk of homework and 1/2 hour exercise. It's up to her to do it and if she doesn't, no big deal, but no screen time (which rarely happens).

For projects, we break them down into parts and she does a bit each day, or every other day, depending on schedule etc.

Other than the occasional project she doesn't have actual homework (it's a no homework school) so we work on things she needs to brush up on, currently it's multiplication.

She would not be able to transition easily from a video game into this routine, so we get it done first, but each kid is different.

LynneC
03-22-14, 02:56 PM
That's a good point about the break between tech and homework; regardless of what approach we end up taking, I will incorporate this for sure.