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Topic : 03/23 Homework Hell

Number of Replies: 241
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Created on : Friday, December 01, 2006, 03:23:49 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 12/07/06) When it comes to helping kids with school assignments, some parents just don’t make the grade. Angela says her 12-year-old son, Masen, takes up to six hours to finish his homework, and she says she can’t stop nitpicking. Her mother, Gayle, says Angela acts like a drill sergeant, and has called Masen "lazy and useless." What’s behind Angela’s frustration? Then, tempers rise as Angela feels her parenting skills are being criticized. Find out the conversation Dr. Phil has with her during the break. Plus, Dr. Phil gives Angela a test of his own, and Dr. Frank Lawlis, author of The IQ Answer, weighs in. Share your thoughts, join the discussion.

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December 4, 2006, 9:01 am CST

12/07 Homework Hell

Quote From: exjerseygirl

You know what; it is not always the parent's fault. My oldest child, Julia, has many issues. Whenever there is a challenge presented to her, she whines and cries, throws temper tantrums and shuts down. I am not a drill sergeant, but I do expect her homework completed within a reasonable amount of time. I do my best to keep patience. Homework has become such a problem at home; it sometimes can take her up to 6 hours to complete her homework too She manipulates people well, sometimes a little to well, so she does not have to complete her tasks.

I have gotten a TSS worker to help with this situation for both home and school. (So, I am not the only one that is having the problem) The problem is, the TSS work is temporary, usually for a few months. I have been there, and still there, so I am not judging anyone. I have found myself saying the same things to my daughter after a few hours of temper tantrums.

What do you do in instances where the child refuses to complete his/.her homework? I make her sit at the table until it is done. Sometimes she goes to bed and her homework is still not completed. I do not stand over her and say complete your homework, I check in on her every half hour or so. I should not have to fight with her to start or finish writing her spelling words 10 times each, or to complete a simple addition work sheet. She is 11 years old. She knows that she is supposed to put her coat away and start her homework as soon as she gets home; she has been doing that since she has been five years old. Nothing has changed. In addition, the homework she comes home with, she should be done within 20 minutes. So, why does she make it out to be this horrible task she has to complete? Why does she act as if completing her homework will hurt or kill her? I have offered her reward options if she completes her homework, but she is not interested in them. She would much rather sit at the table and whine or shut down.

People just do not understand and are too quick to judge others without knowing the whole story.

you know it is true, people blame parents too much. Sometimes I do too, then these situations come up and I think of my own daughter. She is doing the same as yours. After trying to be patient for a while you sometimes say things you don't want to. I also have other children to interact with. I wonder if they just sometimes think that they are the only ones when they shut down. I don't always have these problems with my daughter which tells me she does know better and she can do well at times. It is just the manipulating thing. She acts just as you stated, that is it is going to hurt or kill her.  I am not sure what the TSS worker is though.
 
December 4, 2006, 1:50 pm CST

Patience goes a long way!

Greetings! 

 

    Absolutely no one can strip your peace from you.  I am the one determining what happens to me. Yes, children can be trying and difficult and down right stubborn.  However I am the adult in the picture and I am the one who determines what happens in the end.  Let me please explain.  When I say the things I am saying I am not judging a parent.  I have been an advocate within the school system for over 16 years. I am a student/parent advocate.  i will tell you right now, doesnt matter where in the country the school is, six  hours of homework is way to long to keep a student of any age at the table!  This is not a control issue this is a success issue. Its all about the success of the student! 

    Some may say, I have no right to judge what another does or does not do about homework.  the reality is when something isnt working with a child, go and get some help to find out why this isnt working.  In my summation many times it is a control isse.  I am the parent and you will do what I say.  The base of that is correct however the issue is so much more than that.  I was in a meeting once, with a parent and teacher and counselor and member of the school board.  In this circumstance there was a serious isssue with a teacher who would not give this student any breaks about homework or anything else.  She looked at the board member and  said, Im not doing this and I dont have to and walked out! Bottoom line. this is law and she does have to abide.  and she lost her job because she wouldnt cooperate.  My point in sharing this is that everyone wants the teacher to cooperate and go the extra mile but SO MUST THE PARENT.  IT is about their success in life. Schoolwork is part of that. If that teacher or those teachers are assigning six hours of homework, parents need to see why that is!  Its all about getting involved.

     As i said before there is plenty of help out there to help parents with their children.   A parent who is controlling and yelling the whole time of homework is the problem not the child, however dificlut they may be.  I said this not long ago,  WE(adults) are the childs instruction in life.  What we do, live and speak  is what is programmed inside of us!  This advice comes from much experience and study and traiining!  I have a son who was dyslexic when he was growing up and I became an appendage at the school.  Return?  My son is now 27 years old and is doing great. Reads well, has many talents and gifts and is also an evangelist!  In the seventh grade he was doing all of his homework, he had much help from the school and from his parents and the rest is history!  It is about getting involved,  not taking this difficulty personal,  and find out why what we do isnt working?  Too many adults dont want to take responsibility for their actions.  There are lots of voices telling us things but we are to go with our hearts and do whats right by our children. dr PHil says it best!  MOst people do not have good conflict resolution skills. That is bottom line.  hope this is received with the intentions it is sent, to help see there is always help available for us in every area of life!!  Must reach out and get it!!!!!  and it sounds like the woman in the article is doing that.  Remember the root word in discipline.....disciple!  look it up.

 
December 4, 2006, 2:58 pm CST

12/07 Homework Hell

Quote From: exjerseygirl

 I do not think other people should judge parents who get fustrated over homework issues without knowing what's going on.. 

When Julia first started school, I allowed her to play for  about  45 minutes after school, then she was to start her homework.  That didn't work for us.  She would want to play and not start her work at all.  So, I went for completing her homework right after school.  I am still having problems getting to even start the homowrk process.  Julia is smart, and it's fustrating that she doesn't allow herself to show how smart she is.  I get fustrated with her because she never wants to complete ANY TASKS.  I mean any!  Homework, chores, classwork, help with something as siple as getting something for me, all these things she manipulates herself out of doing.  Brilliant, yes she is.  She's the only 11  year old I know that can manipulate an adult.   And let me explain something to you, She has problems that have been addressed, it is her personalitly that allows her to act stupid and remain stupid.  I say this because she has been informed by several people that because she isn't showing her true potential, others wil judge her as she gets older as stupid.  And you and I know that is true.  My daughter isn't stupid, she just acts it.  I hate it when she does that.  It fustrates me because I know she is so much more than that.  I think that's why parents call their kids stupid, not because they really think they are, it's because the kids mask how smart they really are, and the parents get fustrated at them.  I'm not saying it's right, I am just explaining why I think it happens.  And that's why others should not be so quick to judge.  I can teach all my other children and help them with homework no problem.  Julia is just manipulaing and headstrong.  Julia does what she wants, even when I put my foot down.  She doesn't care if you punish her or take things away. She's not interested in award or rewards.  I do get help with her, but even the professional have problems getting Julia motovated.  So, it's not just me.  I donot nitpick her.  I do explain to her that if she has problems not understanding something, to complete whatever is easy first, then I will try to help her.  When I try to help her, she shuts down, whines, doesn't pay attention, etc.  I get fustrated with her so easily.  She doesn't even to to act like she's paying attention.  She doesn't show interest in what she's supposed to learn.

Do you think it should take an 11 year old 2 and a half hours to write 10 spelling words 10 times each?  Let me tell you, she comes home with first grade words, like cat and bat.  So I think she should be done within 15-20 min. 

Julia is in Special Education because she doesn't show her true potential.  She has a Behavior Specialist, a TSS worker, a therapist, so the help is there, she refuses to use the resources she has available. 

Oh yeah, we have tried putting her on meds, but she decided she didn't want to take them, so she talked with a friend about it.  Her friend taught her how to vomit her meds.  When I found out, I started putting it in her foods and drink, but she would sometimes give her little borthers or sister her food or drink.  So, I couldn't do that anymore. 

I am not the type of person that expects her to get all a's.  I expect her to try her best.  I do not think other people should judge parents who get fustrated over homework issues without knowing what's going on.. 

Whos judging, as a parent I feel for you, truly, but I was speaking about the parents who DIDN'T get help, you are obviously using the resources at your disposal instead of hiding from it, for that I applaud you.

I DO KNOW the frustration of homework, with my son and his differences and my daughter and the fact that PreCalculus is WAYY over my head.

I just think it is so wrong to call names to your child, after all we DO NOT allow them to do that to one another ( at least that's my assumption) and I stand by THAT, I get we've ALL said things we regret, but we don't always apologize and admit we are wrong, THAT is the problem I have with that ( would you call another person's child STUPID) I think NOT.

My post was meant to maybe give parents another option to think about, not to offend or to cause an argument with a complete stranger, again I applaud you for getting the help for your daughter, but as adults, it is up to us NOT to resort to name calling ( as difficult as that can be) and walk away (even more difficult) after all we only wants what's best for them.

 
December 4, 2006, 3:14 pm CST

how to help!

My 9yr old is having a-lot of trouble in math usually she's a good student and last yr her school that she has been attending since k-4 shut down. This year she is at a brand new school and all new friends i thought maybe that was it but it's not b/c all her other grades are fine she is usually an a&b student and i have gotten her extra help before and after school but she still can't get it. I get so upset b/c i know she should be getting this but can't and i feel the frustration and i start yelling and i know that doesn't help her and i have tried everything and she shrugs it off like oh well. I have sat down with her to make sure she's okay without yelling at her and she says she's fine but still brings home 50's on her test. What can i do to help her get her math and it's not just one thing it'severything and some things she should know like multiplaction facts  and divison from 2nd and 3rd grade she's in the4th grade. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks frustrated mom!!
 
December 4, 2006, 8:00 pm CST

Don't just blame the teachers

I have been reading the messages and I know how you all feel, I have a 5th grade son myself and although his teacher says homework should take about 90 minutes, it usually takes twice as long.

 

However, I must add that at the age of 43,  I'm currently working as a substitute teacher and going to school to get my teaching credential.  If everyone had a chance to attend a school district curriculum meeting, you would be amazed at what is required of the teachers.   Homework is given for the simple reason that there is sooooo much information that the district wants teachers to get through, they just don't have enough time in the day!!

If you really want homework to decrease, then you should be voicing your opinion and concerns at school board meetings or writing letters to the board of education for your state.

 

Yes, I'm sticking up for the teachers because I have been in their shoes!!    Sometimes the substitute plans are outrageous in the fact there is no way to fit everything in, as well as classroom management.....we all know how well-behaved students are for substitutes!!  Ha!!

 

Well, I just wanted to give a point of view from the teacher's shoes!   I worry myself about being a good teacher for the students, while also satisfying the needs of the district.

 

 
December 4, 2006, 9:02 pm CST

i admire you for being there for the kids you have a tough job!

Quote From: cehrhart

I have been reading the messages and I know how you all feel, I have a 5th grade son myself and although his teacher says homework should take about 90 minutes, it usually takes twice as long.

 

However, I must add that at the age of 43,  I'm currently working as a substitute teacher and going to school to get my teaching credential.  If everyone had a chance to attend a school district curriculum meeting, you would be amazed at what is required of the teachers.   Homework is given for the simple reason that there is sooooo much information that the district wants teachers to get through, they just don't have enough time in the day!!

If you really want homework to decrease, then you should be voicing your opinion and concerns at school board meetings or writing letters to the board of education for your state.

 

Yes, I'm sticking up for the teachers because I have been in their shoes!!    Sometimes the substitute plans are outrageous in the fact there is no way to fit everything in, as well as classroom management.....we all know how well-behaved students are for substitutes!!  Ha!!

 

Well, I just wanted to give a point of view from the teacher's shoes!   I worry myself about being a good teacher for the students, while also satisfying the needs of the district.

 

and i know it, all you teachers male and female really don't get the true credit you deserve,so i just wanted to take this moment and thank you personally for caring about the children,god bless you,even if its not my child you teach,you deserve a pat on the back, thank you thank you thank you, and i mean this with all my heart, i cant give you a pat on the back but i can give you this, a small token of appreciation to you a great and wonderful person to whom without there would be no future for our children,i am one parent that could never fill your shoes,
 
December 4, 2006, 9:05 pm CST

ps, if you copy and save that picture i posted for you

Quote From: cehrhart

I have been reading the messages and I know how you all feel, I have a 5th grade son myself and although his teacher says homework should take about 90 minutes, it usually takes twice as long.

 

However, I must add that at the age of 43,  I'm currently working as a substitute teacher and going to school to get my teaching credential.  If everyone had a chance to attend a school district curriculum meeting, you would be amazed at what is required of the teachers.   Homework is given for the simple reason that there is sooooo much information that the district wants teachers to get through, they just don't have enough time in the day!!

If you really want homework to decrease, then you should be voicing your opinion and concerns at school board meetings or writing letters to the board of education for your state.

 

Yes, I'm sticking up for the teachers because I have been in their shoes!!    Sometimes the substitute plans are outrageous in the fact there is no way to fit everything in, as well as classroom management.....we all know how well-behaved students are for substitutes!!  Ha!!

 

Well, I just wanted to give a point of view from the teacher's shoes!   I worry myself about being a good teacher for the students, while also satisfying the needs of the district.

 

you can print it out as a 6by9 and frame it it will make a beautiful wall hanging
 
December 4, 2006, 9:28 pm CST

Thank You!

Quote From: afraid

and i know it, all you teachers male and female really don't get the true credit you deserve,so i just wanted to take this moment and thank you personally for caring about the children,god bless you,even if its not my child you teach,you deserve a pat on the back, thank you thank you thank you, and i mean this with all my heart, i cant give you a pat on the back but i can give you this, a small token of appreciation to you a great and wonderful person to whom without there would be no future for our children,i am one parent that could never fill your shoes,

I  assume that parents are grateful for teachers, but it's nice to hear it!

Thank you!

 
December 4, 2006, 11:31 pm CST

Been there and worried about you and your child

My hope for mom and child is that they can both get help and learn about each other's limitations. As a mom with a child with a learning difficulty I could see the frustration my son was having along with mine.The homework he would bring home would be hours worth of work-I would even sign his agenda and state how many hours we were spending on his homework-this was so he could just keep up with the class and not fall behind.Many times I would re-teach the lesson because he didn't "get it" at school.The hours of tears for both of us was awful.There were times that I made him just leave his work and go work out.Having an outlet is vital for their self-esteem and their abiltiy to re-focus-for both you and them.Countless meetings would be had at school and countless comments on his report card that he wasn't "applying himself enough" or he was distracted too much.There was nothing he did in school that he didn't do at home.Finally after all my meetings, complaints and other issues-a ton of tears shed for him and me-the school is finally going to help him.This has been years of fighting-due to budget cuts and because he was making a passing grade didn't put him on "their radar" was frustrating-so much for making sure that no child gets left behind-no we just use it as a budget cut.It is sad that we spend more on our prisons than on our children. As parents we need to be louder and come together on these issues and please remember that if we are frustrated -what is the child feeling.More than anything I do understand the frustation.Please remember they as children are worth it and let's try and make them feel like they are important.More than anything let them know they are still loved.
 
December 5, 2006, 2:03 am CST

ITS UNCALLED FOR......

Quote From: ceildh1

I truly hope Doctor Phil can help this mother and son.

Six hours to do homework, WOW, that's rough, but what we have to sit back and think is, are there other issues here.

Sorry for being " CRITICAL" here, but you know what, someone standing over my shoulder barking like a drill sargent, and nitpicking EVERYTHING I do, or calling me things like USELESS or LAZY, isn't really going to inspire me to do anything for you either, as an adult I'd tell you to "go to hell", but a kid especially your own likely won't.

Mom needs to relax, and investigate the matter further.  I know personally many parents who are quick to label their child, and for some reason think its a failure on their part if there is a problem, Get over it, if there is a problem and you will not acknowledge it, or get your child the appropriate help with it, then YOU are setting him or her up for a lifetime of frustration and feeling stupid.

I have a son with Dyslexia and ADHD, I'm not ashamed of him or his problems, and by working with his teachers, and doctors, we have come up with a plan for his SUCCESS.  He knows if he dosen't do the work, he will fail like everyone else, but if he makes an HONEST effort on his notes and reports ( Spellcheck and Grammer check are the BEST inventions EVER), spelling can be forgiven, and his teachers allow him time to practice BEFORE having to read orally.

Homework (sigh) is yes a nightmare sometimes, but we do not force it as soon as the kids get home.  We give them at least an hour to unwind first, and after sitting in class all day, my son could no more sit any longer than I could go Bungee Jumping.  Again, his teachers and I came up with extended time limits for him, and EVERYTHING being done on the computer, if you ever seen his handwriting you'd know why.

A Learning Difference does NOT make a child stupid or Lazy, and it is one of the BIGGEST reasons people shouldn't be quick to critisize people on Message Boards for their spelling and Grammer mistakes, you don't know what these people have to go through to write these messages.

If you find yourself among those who don't have the patience for homework, and not all of us do, then FIND someone else to help them. Peers, grandparents, your spouse if applicable, you will ruin your relationship with your child if you keep going this way.  You ARE NOT admitting failure, you are admitting the truth you don't have the patience, GET HELP !!!!!

I do homework here because my husband is also dyslexic and so reports and things drive him NUTS as well, but if they have to build a model or experiment, he's there with bells on, but we admit we have DIFFERENCES.

I truly HATE IT when people yell and get onto their kids BEFORE finding out if there might be a problem, you might be holding back a brilliant mind, your C student might actually be an A student, if instead of acting like a drill sargent, you actually find out if something is wrong, and by the way, the nitpicking, well why should the child even TRY, if what could be his best isn't good enough ?

I cant agree with you more about this particular mother on the show.

 

I have a 11 year old daughter and she has a hard time learning how to do word math problems and other subjects as well. She has to go to another teacher (during school) like a tutoring class for her. The school provides this free of charge to kids having trouble in certain areas of curiculum. And the teaching happens during school hours (Ex.: instead of having her home room teacher for reading, math, or english, she goes to another teacher that explains it in terms she can understand). My daughter ISNT dumb, or has ADHD or anything of the like, she just has a time understanding certain things and needs help(especially with certain money problems). She is a A & B student, and like many of us when we were in school, has trouble in certain subjects( mine was math, I HATED IT). I dont hound her like a drill sergant saying "That is WRONG change it", she has to learn certain things by her mistakes. But by calling the child names like "lazy" and  the like ISNT going to help them at all and agree that is mental cruelity as well. That will have the child thinking he/she IS worthless and the child needs to learn just as we did when we were in school. Some children catch on more quickly then others, some needs a bit extra help.

 

The way we agree on the homework after school is this:

She comes home from school, she does her homework, gets the mail and other chores she has to do, then her "fun" time begins(like going on the internet, playing her video games and such).  Most of the time she only has reading and does that on the bus(its a good 30-45 min. bus ride with the route her bus driver takes even though its ONLY in town) but there has been many of times where she has ALOT of homework and I ALWAYS let her have a break. Even if its when we eat or when she gets frustrated cause she doesnt understand a particular problem/subject. I always keep scrap paper on hand for math problems that should arise and explain it the best way I can to her (I let her write it out and such), then explain step by step how to do the problem. Usually that works. Or she will do it they way her teacher taught her how( sometimes I even have trouble understanding certain ones and she explains it to me on how to do it).  About her report cards, she has occasionally had C's (which she does try her best at to bring them up and most of the time she has) I also told her D's she'll have to try harder and study more, F's (which I havent even seen one yet) but if the case should arise, she will have to buckle down. I dont yell at my child and always help her with her homework but i do know she has to make certain mistakes in order to learn.  I offer my help on her homework sometimes she even tells me"No thanks mom I know how to do it" and I let her go, but she KNOWS help is here when needed. I dont yell at her (and I have NO intention either) she is learning new things just like when we were in school when the subject we were learning was new to us.

 

The mother on the show should wake up and realize her own problem instead calling her own flesh and blood "lazy".

 

To the poster I have quoted:  Congrats on the SUCCESS of ur son. You have found the right help on his way to success. And I wish him luck in the future :)

 
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