Patented Q & A Database


My son is in 5th grade and has ADHD. Despite the fact that he is on medication, we still have problems with homework. The biggest problem is his anger towards doing homework and his frustration when he doesn't get the answer immediately. He wants to be a good student and he gets good grades - but he does fights us every day about doing his homework. We spend more time fighting than doing at times and my other son is picking up on this behavior and doing it as well. I feel at his grade level he needs to do his homework on his own. I am available if he needs guidance -but only if he is really stuck - not giving up because it is too hard. We have a system of when to do homework and to chunk down large projects or take breaks but it doesn't seem to work. Do I let him fail and not turn in his homework? Should I have other consequences for not doing his homeowrk? Or should I have a reward system?


Kraig Kidd Replied: There are two things I am going to share with you right up front that will either validate or "in"validate my response for you based on what you want to truly accomplish for yourself and your children.
1) I believe ANY ongoing medication with children - especially Ridilin - will have behavior impacts on learning and development and,
2) I don't believe in the Praise, nor Reward, systems for children.

There is an imbalance in your question I am going to use to begin my response.
You have advised your child gets good grades in school and yet you are having difficulty getting him to do his homework, AND that your other son is picking up on "his" behavior.
I'm going to suggest that you consider first, if your child IS getting good grades in school that his 'un'spoken message to you in his behavior with homework has nothing to do with the homework and that it is simply the vehicle to express his anger about something else....which may potentially be many things but rest assured it is something he does not have the skill to communicate to you in another way.
Secondly, consider the pattern of the behavior being picked up by the other child is not being taught by his older sibling but is being taught by the parent who is interacting with both of them.
If this is you, consider seeing where your anger or frustration about something significant in your life is actually being played out through them. This will be the BIGGEST leap forward you will experience in the relationship with your children when you look at their behavior from this perspective FIRST.

Next, you can then put parameters in place to correct their behavior with better detachment and more successes in your ability to follow through.

For this, I would use a concept called Natural Consequences. Natural Consequences are not punishment but are predictable steps to an outcome.
Example: If your room isn't picked up before going to bed this evening you will need to come home from school and pick it up instead of going to soccer practice tomorrow after school. It is not, if your homework isn't finished by dinner tonight you don't get to spend the night with Johnny Saturday. This punishment has no relationship to the job he being asked to complete. In addition, ask him how he feels about completing good work or when he corrects something he didn't know. Find out how it makes him feel better from his own initiative instead of an outside initiative such as a movie coupon or game. That is motivated by you, not him and he will become dependent on you to continue that pattern; and later for a boss at work to do the same thing.
Finally, I'm going to suggest you look into his diet. ADHD diagnosis can have significant success by balancing out nutritional diets for children especially. In children, there is time to change their diet before their behavioral patterns become too established. Bio-Energetic Feedback testing is a fantastic way to look in to the nutritional needs.
Posted On 2010-10-10 11:48:25
Stephen Jones Replied: It is not uncommon for children to dislike homework. Homework is an American tradition that has been done the same way for years. The fact is that every child learns according to their own learning style. Some are visual, some are tactile (touching things to learn) and some are auditory. Ask the teacher about learning styles. When we found out our son was an auditory learner we got him books on CD. It worked. My children are motivated because they know that at the end of the year they will receive $10 for each "A" grade that they receive. A reward system is better than a consequence system. It gives you an opportunity to praise your student when the grades are good. Meet with the teacher to come up with creative alternative home work assignments. The 4th and 5th grade are critical times when students learn to love or hate school. Load up on activities that he can do and enjoy the learning process. You are not alone seek other ideas from professionals who indicated that he has ADHD. Be consistent in your praise when you see him doing a great job of completing his home work.
Posted On 2010-09-26 06:04:06
Peter Hanfileti, MD Replied: I agree that a 5th grader should be independent about doing homework. My inclination would be to let him experience the consequences of not turning in the homework. If he is a good student and wants to get good grades that should be enough motivation for him to do the work. I wouldn't bother with other consequences or rewards, just give him space to accomplish what he can in his own way. I'll bet his frustration and anger will decrease once he realizes he is not in opposition with you. By removing yourself from the equation you are giving him the chance to stand on his own and most importantly you are implicitly expressing confidence that he can do it (even if it doesn't seem likely to you now). Remember, his underlying motivation is to become an individual and by giving him a forum for confrontation with you, he is obligated to take you up on it. So again, remove yourself from being in opposition with him and express your expectation to him that he can do it on his own. In my own practice I take a more energy dynamics approach with kids like your son and I use the Chinese medicine system as well because it enables us to get a broader picture of what is going on. In your son's case the liver energy circuit is most likely to be involved. I encourage you to seek out more holistic options in your area if you can. Alternatively, you can read more on the following page on my website for parents.
Posted On 2010-09-23 15:38:34
Press Esc to close