My Forum Comments
mum2quinn – My daughter consistently lied about not having homework, or having it done as well. Last year, we implemented a signature sheet – any class where she missed an assignment, for the rest of the semester she had to have that teacher sign a sheet on Friday saying whether she had any missing work that week. If she did, there were no activities that weekend. That seemed to work well.
You made a very good point about when she cares enough about something, she will work through problems. In my situation, I cared waaaayy more than my daughter did about her schoolwork. Once I trained myself to remember that it’s HER schoolwork & HER consequences, and I started showing her that I felt bad for her when she did poorly (rather than feeling bad MYSELF that she did poorly), I really do think she started to take on more of the caring about how she was doing in school. That doesn’t mean she didn’t experience consequences for missing work, we just framed it as “it looks like you didn’t have enough time to complete your homework this week. We’ll be sure you have enough time next week by __” (giving you an hour each day over the weekend to work on it, or having your phone put away for an extra hour during the week so you have more time to focus on schoolwork, etc.). Laying the worry, responsibility and natural consequences on her shoulders has made my load lighter, and seems to have made her care more. (It’s rough in the beginning though, because it feels like NO one is carrying that load. But stick with it, it’s worth it!) Hang in there, mama!
My daughter (11th grade) had the same attitude & is also in advanced classes. If she didn’t turn something in & her grade dropped, she seemed to give up on the class entirely and the missing assignments just snowballed from there. This happened in just about all of her classes in 9th & 10th grade. This year, several times over the summer, I told both my kids that once school started, we were going to have 1hr a day of phone-free time at the dining room table for homework, studying or reading. Nothing else can be done in this 1hr, even if they don’t have homework. Thankfully, I have a job that allows me to be home after school. So when they get home, they get an hour to have a snack & do whatever they want. Then from 4-5pm is study time. My 11th grader pushed the boundaries (of course) by refusing to sit at the table, wanting her phone to listen to music, asking for 15 more minutes to finish a show, etc. I am trying to not be so rigid so I’ve allowed her these things and she usually gets down to business. She is doing SO much better this year (mostly A’s! In previous years, she was mostly C’s & D’s by the end of the 1st quarter). I asked her what the difference was between this year & last, and she said “I don’t know, I guess I’m trying.” When I asked her why she was trying, she said it was because she didn’t like how it felt to have bad grades. So I think the improvement has actually come from a combination of providing a specific time each day where all she can do is study, and me backing off on pressing her/asking her to get homework done. This put the worrying about grades more on her shoulders. When I remember to show empathy about how it must feel to have a missing assignment, that also puts the responsibility on her shoulders. Backing off & remembering to show empathy rather than anger about missing assignments was a REALLY hard step for me to take (it only took me 2yrs of pulling my hair out to get there). I basically grew to accept the fact that she may very well have to repeat a grade. I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn’t the end of the world if she had to repeat a grade, or if she missed out on a scholarship & had to pay more for college. By the time she’s 30, none of what we’re going through right now will matter. What will have a lasting effect is how I interact with her – I need to show her that I believe she’s capable of doing well (without getting angry with her), and trust her to take care of what she needs to take care of, and that even when she fails, I show her I have empathy for how she must feel about that, and no matter what, I still love her. She will eventually grow up and be ok.
My daughter has the same issue. She would say she didn’t have homework even when she did, or she’d say she turned it in when she didn’t.
Something that worked for a while with her was that once she had a missed assignment in a class, she had to start having that teacher sign a sheet (which I provided) on Fridays that indicated whether or not she still had missing work. If she had missing work on a Friday or she didn’t get a signature, she didn’t get to go anywhere that weekend and we gave her plenty of electronics-free time to get it done (even if she finished the assignment Friday night, she still couldn’t go anywhere the rest of the weekend). We only did this the last couple months of school last year, but it definitely made a difference and we plan on using that this year as well. We will probably start fresh each semester or quarter (not requiring signatures unless/until she misses an assignment)
Our daughter’s school is also very chromebook oriented, so teachers enter assignments & tests online. So for a while after she misses an assignment, we’ll sit with her each night to go through each class’s web page. After a couple weeks of checking nightly with her, we’ll pull back and let her check assignments on her own, but if she misses one, we start checking with her every night again (which she doesn’t like). She will continue to check on her own for at least several weeks after we are done checking with her, so I know it’s working – just need to aim for longer time frames. I’m really looking forward to seeing what other solutions people have come up with too.