Homework is boring…
Imagine this for second. Its 6pm ish, just got home from work, picking up one kid from daycare and 2 from ymca after school program. Dog needs to go for a walk. Dinner needs to be cooked. And homework has to be done. My 2 year old daughter wants breast milk and I just want to go pee in peace!
This is how a normal evening goes for me as a single mom. I work full time as a probation officer and I have 3 children Christopher 11, Cash 5 and Evelyn 2. All depend 100% on mommy. Some days are great and some days are like world war 3! Either way I love it, well most of the time. Yep! Not every single minute of this is fun, but it’s worth it. I have tried many things in my parenting journey and seen all colors and consistencies of poop! I have wiped butts and noses for 11 years. I have made tons of snacks and ironed several pounds of clothes every Sunday since my oldest started school. I am an expert!
I have not mastered all areas and I am ok with that. I have made great efforts that ended badly. I have counted to 10 a million times and pointed my finger in the faces of little minis.
I have used books and modern psychology for discipline. I have used common sense and prayers for discipline. There are no right or wrong answers here. I don’t judge.
I know somewhere there is a mom just like me. Trying to make it and keep her kids alive. We got this!
I have a big heart and I often get called the muffin man by my daughter. AS if she couldn’t say muffin woman, but anyway…I wear several hats and I’m not great at everything.
I’ll talk about my tips that have worked for me and hope you can find some use for them. A friend gave me an idea for bedtime battles and I have created a bedtime clock that helps.
So recently smart, handsome, brilliant eldest son is currently in 5th grade and he said to me homework is boring!!! This comment came after telling him about the conversation I had with his teacher via online chat. She had informed me that he had not turned in some of his homework. In my mind I was shocked because I ask pretty often if he has homework and if he did it. He almost always says he did it at school already.
For the most part he was being truthful with the assignments that he found to be fun or interesting and the boring ones he would just leave right in his backpack. I like to think I’m a fairly decent parent and try to balance out work and fun stuff with the kids so I tried to be the militant mom and take the PS4 away during the school week….EPIC FAIL!!
It got worse.
I tried to take it away completely this last time even for weekends and my son told me if you let me play my game I’ll be more interested in doing my homework.
Let that sink in for a second… my 11 year old is basically telling me that in order for him to do what he is already supposed to be doing I have to reward him in advance!!! I was hotter than fish grease!
I really took this as a personal issue with my parenting skills and even asked a friend of mine that is a school counselor and former teacher what I should do. She flat out told me to “let him play his game!!” Oh no! I told her how crazy that was and we got into a really good discussion about the types of children that we are raising.
We are both raising a child that that has been identified as (GT) gifted and talented. She explained to me that they require more challenging work and usually have poor study habits because they catch on quickly and challenge their teachers. We went back and forth for a little bit about how all the kids nowadays are very smart and very connected to each to each through their video games and devices and keeping them away from them can cause them to lose interest in other things.
We compared some of their behaviors such as messy rooms. And bath time battles.
I went home that night and sat him down and asked him if I let him play his game and he had to hold up his end of making sure his work was done on time and turned in on time. He agreed. Sounds so simple!
And it literally was that SIMPLE.
I tried it and so far it has been working.
A few weeks later after negotiating with my kid, I have noticed a HUGE change. He does his chores after being told only once, he has completed his assignments, homework, and worked on his project. He is less of a pain in the butt begging for his game time each day and I have less stress about whether or not I am doing the right thing. All I can say is the way I was raised we had to do our work then we could play, but I guess as with anything changes have to be made to keep up with the new generation.
If I had not tried out my friends advice I’d still be battling with my kid on school nights to get him to do his homework and I’d never hear the end of “homework is boring.”
What I want you to see from my experience is that it’s okay to try out your kids’ ideas. Sometimes we forget that they have their own minds and as we teach them to be independent and successful we want to them to have a voice and what better place to start then at home.
We are all just trying to keep our kids alive.
And teach them how live productively in society. What kind of mom would I be if everything had to be a certain way all the time? I’ll tell you boring! Just a stick in the mud of my children’s lives. I am changing and trying new things, kids are changing and trying new things, and the world is changing whether we like it or not.
My takeaway advice
Have fun. Don’t take yourself so seriously that you miss the little moments with your kids. Trust me they don’t care if you made a gourmet dinner or hamburger helper! They don’t honestly.
Play, play, play. Remember the muffin man. Well that’s our cooking game so when I am cooking for real or for play that’s me!
Cut yourself some slack. Other moms do not have it all together. We all cry and laugh and whine at times. Be easy on yourself and buy that $8 body wash, crank up your music and sing in the shower. (I do this)
Huggees. It’s our hug time. Happens randomly when one of us bring it up. No matter what is going on we stop and do a big ol group squeeze.
Mommin ain’t easy!!! It’s not and doing as a single woman is even less easy. You have to make time for yourself and each kid. A few minutes is a great start. You could even have a certain day dedicated to a specific child and make it all about them. Not their birthday just a regular old day. LOL but really be nice to yourself. I have a pepsi and a snickers just about every day and that’s my thing. The thing that is just for me and I don’t share usually. Now I do admit I hide in the kitchen to scarf it down, but still it’s something I have to myself regardless of how small or insignificant it might seem.
Bribing your kid to get them to do their homework might seem @ss backwards, but really in life nothing will be given for free! You don’t go to work every day knowing you won’t get paid right? So homework with your kid shouldn’t be so daunting. You do your work and you can play your game (my house) rather than focusing on the consequence focus on the good stuff and the rewards for you as a mom will be homework done and a happy kid!
If you have a personal story about related to homework and your solutions to the battles please comment or email. I’d love to hear from you! If there’s another topic you want me to write about let me know!!!